Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2011 Mar;9(3):215-22.
doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2508. Epub 2011 Feb 7.

Are Bloodstream Leukocytes Trojan Horses for the Metastasis of Staphylococcus Aureus?


Are Bloodstream Leukocytes Trojan Horses for the Metastasis of Staphylococcus Aureus?

Guy E Thwaites et al. Nat Rev Microbiol. .


Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia remains very difficult to treat, and a large proportion of cases result in potentially lethal metastatic infection. Unpredictable and persistent bacteraemia in the face of highly active, usually bactericidal antibiotics is the strongest predictor of death or disseminated disease. Although S. aureus has conventionally been considered an extracellular pathogen, much evidence demonstrates that it can survive intracellularly. In this Opinion article, we propose that phagocytes, and specifically neutrophils, represent a privileged site for S. aureus in the bloodstream, offering protection from most antibiotics and providing a mechanism by which the bacterium can travel to and infect distant sites. Furthermore, we suggest how this can be experimentally confirmed and how it may prompt a change in the current paradigm of S. aureus bacteraemia and identify better treatment options for improved clinical outcomes.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 81 articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. J Lab Clin Med. 1951 Jun;37(6):924-30 - PubMed
    1. Haematologica. 2003 Aug;88(8):923-30 - PubMed
    1. Clin Infect Dis. 2010 Apr 1;50(7):953-62 - PubMed
    1. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2004 Dec;54(6):971-81 - PubMed
    1. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2002 Dec;46(12):4013-5 - PubMed

Publication types

MeSH terms

LinkOut - more resources