The rise and rise of Staphylococcus aureus: laughing in the face of granulocytes

Clin Exp Immunol. 2009 Aug;157(2):216-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2009.03950.x.


Recent developments in the study of host-pathogen interactions have fundamentally altered our understanding of the nature of Staphylococcus aureus infection, and previously held tenets regarding the role of the granulocyte are being cast aside. Novel mechanisms of pathogenesis are becoming evident, revealing the extent to which S. aureus can evade neutrophil responses successfully by resisting microbicides, surviving intracellularly and subverting cell death pathways. Developing a detailed understanding of these complex strategies is especially relevant in light of increasing staphylococcal virulence and antibiotic resistance, and the knowledge that dysfunctional neutrophil responses contribute materially to poor host outcomes. Unravelling the biology of these interactions is a challenging task, but one which may yield new strategies to address this, as yet, defiant organism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Abscess / immunology
  • Cell Death
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Skin / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Infections / immunology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / physiology*
  • Virulence