Staphylococcus aureus is a human pathogen that secretes proteins that contribute to bacterial colonization. Here we describe the extracellular adherence protein (Eap) as a novel anti-inflammatory factor that inhibits host leukocyte recruitment. Due to its direct interactions with the host adhesive proteins intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), fibrinogen or vitronectin, Eap disrupted beta(2)-integrin and urokinase receptor mediated leukocyte adhesion in vitro. Whereas Eap-expressing S. aureus induced a 2 3-fold lower neutrophil recruitment in bacterial peritonitis in mice as compared with an Eap-negative strain, isolated Eap prevented beta(2)-integrin-dependent neutrophil recruitment in a mouse model of acute thioglycollate-induced peritonitis. Thus, the specific interactions with ICAM-1 and extracellular matrix proteins render Eap a potent anti-inflammatory factor, which may serve as a new therapeutic substance to block leukocyte extravasation in patients with hyperinflammatory pathologies.