Pathogenic bacteria excrete a variety of virulence factors into extracellular medium and to the cell surface which have essential roles in the colonization and insurrection of the host cells, and thus reflect the degree of bacterial pathogenicity. For the exploration of virulence factors expressed in the secreted proteome fraction, different Staphylococcus aureus strains were analyzed using gel-based bottom-up proteomic approach. A total of 119 distinct proteins were identified for the enterotoxin gene cluster (egc) negative and seb gene positive S. aureus American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) 14458 strain by the use of one- and 2-DE based proteomics. Detailed analysis of enterotoxin region of the 2-D map confirmed, beside the highly expressed staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB), the presence of enterotoxin-like proteins SElK and SElQ previously predicted by genotyping (Sergeev et al.., J. Clin. Microbiol. 2004, 42, 2134-2143). Exoprotein patterns at the late-exponential (7 h) and stationary (24 h) phases of cellular growth show a high-level similarity in this region. Comparative analysis of enterotoxin region of five S. aureus strains including two clinical isolates (RIMD 31092 and A900322), a food derived strain (AB-8802) with highly prevalent egc positive operon and a nonenterotoxigenic reference strain (ROS) revealed the presence of different known enterotoxins and other virulence factors along with a number of core exoproteins. In addition, production of SElL (RIMD 31092) and SElP (A900322) was demonstrated for the first time at the protein level. Under the experimental conditions applied none of the enterotoxins encoded by the genes of egc operon was identified.