Staphylococcus aureus causes many types of human infections and syndromes-most notably skin and soft tissue infections. Abscesses are a frequent manifestation of S. aureus skin and soft tissue infections and are formed, in part, to contain the nidus of infection. Polymorphonuclear leukocytes (neutrophils) are the primary cellular host defense against S. aureus infections and a major component of S. aureus abscesses. These host cells contain and produce many antimicrobial agents that are effective at killing bacteria, but can also cause non-specific damage to host tissues and contribute to the formation of abscesses. By comparison, S. aureus produces several molecules that also contribute to the formation of abscesses. Such molecules include those that recruit neutrophils, cause host cell lysis, and are involved in the formation of the fibrin capsule surrounding the abscess. Herein, we review our current knowledge of the mechanisms and processes underlying the formation of S. aureus abscesses, including the involvement of polymorphonuclear leukocytes, and provide a brief overview of therapeutic approaches.
Published by Elsevier Inc.