Targeting Poly-Gamma-Glutamic Acid to Treat Staphylococcus Epidermidis and Related Infections

Over the past decade, Staphylococcus epidermidis has become the most prevalent pathogen involved in nosocomial infections. Usually an innocuous commensal microorganism on human skin, this member of the coagulase-negative group of staphylococci can cause severe infection after penetration of the epidermal protective barriers of the human body. In the U.S. alone, S. epidermidis infections on in-dwelling medical devices, which represent the main type of infection with S. epidermidis, cost the public health system approximately $1 billion per year. Importantly, S. epidermidis is frequently resistant to common antibiotics.

Immunogenic compositions and methods for eliciting an immune response against S. epidermidis and other related staphylococci are claimed. The immunogenic compositions can include immunogenic conjugates of poly-gamma-glutamic acid (such as gammaDLPGA) polypeptides of S. epidermidis, or related staphylococci that express a gammaPGA polypeptide. The gammaPGA conjugates elicit an effective immune response against S. epidermidis, or other staphylococci, in subjects to which the conjugates are administered. A method of treating an infection caused by a Staphylococcus organism that expresses cap genes is also disclosed. The method can include selecting a subject who is at risk of or has been diagnosed with the infection by the Staphylococcus organism which expresses gammaPGA from the cap genes. Further, the expression of a gammaPGA polypeptide by the organism can then be altered.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Prophylactics against S. epidermidis.

Development Stage:
Preclinical studies have been performed.


Michael Otto (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Stanislava Kocianova (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Cuong Vuong (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Jovanka Voyich (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Yufeng Yao (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Frank DeLeo (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
U.S. Pat: 8,252,550 issued 2012-08-28
U.S. Pat: 8,623,371 issued 2014-01-07
U.S. Pat: 8,921,071 issued 2014-12-30
US Application No. 13/035,716
US Application No. 13/554,245
US Application No. 14/058,610

Kocianova S, et al. PMID 15696197

Collaboration Opportunity:

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Laboratory of Human Bacterial Pathogenesis, is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize the use of poly-gamma-glutamic acid of staphylococci. Please contact Dr. Michael Otto at for more information.

Licensing Contact:
Jeffrey Thruston,
Phone: 301-594-5179

OTT Reference No: E-263-2005-0
Updated: May 7, 2018