Staphylococcus aureus is a pathogenic microorganism that is responsible for a wide variety of clinical infections. These infections can be relatively mild, but serious, life-threatening infections may result from the expression of staphylococcal virulence factors that are coordinated by virulence regulators. Much work has been done to characterize the actions of staphylococcal virulence regulators in broth culture. Recently, several laboratories showed that transcriptional analyses of virulence regulators in in vivo animal models or in human infection did not correlate with transcriptional analyses accomplished in vitro. In describing the differences between in vitro and in vivo transcription of staphylococcal virulence regulators, we hope to encourage investigators to study virulence regulators using infection models whenever possible.