Staphylococcus aureus: new evidence for intracellular persistence

Trends Microbiol. 2009 Feb;17(2):59-65. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2008.11.005. Epub 2009 Feb 7.


Many reports have documented that Staphylococcus aureus can invade host cells and persist intracellularly for various periods of time in cell culture models. However, it is not clear whether intracellular persistence of S. aureus also occurs in the course of infections in whole organisms. This is a subject of intense debate and is difficult to assess experimentally. Intracellular persistence would provide S. aureus with an ideal strategy to escape from professional phagocytes and extracellular antibiotics and would promote recrudescent infection. Here, we present a brief overview of the mounting evidence that S. aureus has the potential to internalize and survive within host cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Female
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / physiology*