The Staphylococcus aureus svrA gene was identified in a signature-tagged mutagenesis screen for Tn917 insertions attenuated for mouse virulence, and subsequently found to be defective in agr expression. Its attenuation of virulence was attributed to its failure to express the agr regulon. In addition to the Tn917 insertion in svrA, the original svrA mutant strain (P6C63) has an adventitious frame-shift in agrC, which results in truncation of the AgrC peptide. Separation of the svrA mutation from the agrC frame-shift revealed that svrA has no detectable affect on agr activation, as assessed by exoprotein profiles and the production of haemolytic toxins. These results indicate that svrA does not play a role in Staphylococcus aureus infections via an agr-mediated pathway.