Staphylococcus aureus adheres avidly to decellularised cardiac homograft tissue in vitro in the fibrinogen-dependent manner

Bartosz Ditkowski*, Kirsten Leeten, Ramadan Jashari, Elizabeth Jones, Ruth Heying

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review



Infective endocarditis remains a severe complication associated with a high morbidity and mortality in patients after heart valve replacement. Exploration of the pathogenesis is of high demand and we, therefore, present a competent model that allows studying bacterial adherence and the role of plasma fibrinogen in this process using a new in-house designed low-volume flow chamber. Three cardiac graft tissues used for pulmonary valve replacement have been tested under shear conditions to investigate the impact of surface composition on the adhesion events.


Tissue pieces of cryopreserved homograft (non-decellularised), decellularised homograft and bovine pericardium patch were investigated for fibrinogen binding. Adherence of Staphylococcus aureus to these graft tissues was studied quantitatively under flow conditions in our newly fabricated chamber based on a parallel plates' modality. The method of counting colony-forming units was reliable and reproducible to assess the propensity of different graft materials for bacterial attachment under shear.


Bacterial perfusions over all plasma-precoated tissues identified cryopreserved homograft with the lowest affinity for S. aureus compared to decellularised homograft presenting a significantly higher bacterial adhesion (p < 0.05), which was linked to a more avid fibrinogen binding (p < 0.01). Bovine pericardial patch, as a reference tissue in this study, was confirmed to be the most susceptible tissue graft for the bacterial adhesion, which was in line with our previous work.


The two studied homograft tissues showed different levels of bacterial attachment, which might be postulated by the involvement of fibrinogen in the adhesion mechanism(s) shown previously for bovine tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1047951120002772
Pages (from-to)1783-1787
Number of pages5
JournalCardiology in the Young
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacterial adhesion
  • cardiac graft tissues
  • endothelial cells
  • flow chamber
  • infective endocarditis
  • S
  • aureus
  • subendothelial matrix
  • shear stress

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