Corynebacterium accolens inhibits Staphylococcus aureus induced mucosal barrier disruption

Shuman Huang, Karen Hon, Catherine Bennett, Hua Hu, Martha Menberu, Peter John Wormald, Yulin Zhao, Sarah Vreugde, Sha Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Corynebacterium accolens (C. accolens) is a common nasal colonizer, whereas Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is typically regarded a pathogenic organism in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). This study aims to evaluate the interaction of the two bacteria in vitro. 

Methods: Clinical isolates of C. accolens and S. aureus from sinonasal swabs, as well as primary human nasal epithelial cells (HNECs) cultured from cellular brushings of both healthy and CRS patients were used for this study. The cell-free culture supernatants of all isolates grown alone and in co-cultures were tested for their effects on transepithelial electrical resistance (TER), FITC-Dextran permeability, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and IL-6 and IL-8 secretion of HNECs. Confocal scanning laser microscopy and immunofluorescence were also used to visualize the apical junctional complexes. C. accolens cell-free culture supernatants were also tested for antimicrobial activity and growth on planktonic and biofilm S. aureus growth. 

Results: The cell-free culture supernatants of 3\C. accolens strains (at 60% for S. aureus reference strain and 30% concentration for S. aureus clinical strains) inhibited the growth of both the planktonic S. aureus reference and clinical strains significantly. The C. accolens cell-free culture supernatants caused no change in the TER or FITC-Dextran permeability of the HNEC-ALI cultures, while the cell-free culture supernatants of S. aureus strains had a detrimental effect. Cell-free culture supernatants of C. accolens co-cultured with both the clinical and reference strains of S. aureus delayed the S. aureus-dependent mucosal barrier damage in a dose-dependent manner. 

Conclusion: Corynebacterium accolens cell-free culture supernatants appear to inhibit the growth of the S. aureus planktonic bacteria, and may reduce the mucosal barrier damage caused by S. aureus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number984741
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • biofilm
  • cell-free culture supernatants
  • Corynebacterium accolens
  • planktonic
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • TER


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