Inside job: Staphylococcus aureus host-pathogen interactions

Int J Med Microbiol. 2018 Aug;308(6):607-624. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmm.2017.11.009. Epub 2017 Nov 26.


Staphylococcus aureus is a notorious opportunistic pathogen causing a plethora of diseases. Recent research established that once phagocytosed by neutrophils and macrophages, a certain percentage of S. aureus is able to survive within these phagocytes which thereby even may contribute to dissemination of the pathogen. S. aureus further induces its uptake by otherwise non-phagocytic cells and the ensuing intracellular cytotoxicity is suggested to lead to tissue destruction, whereas bacterial persistence within cells is thought to lead to immune evasion and chronicity of infections. We here review recent work on the S. aureus host pathogen interactions with a focus on the intracellular survival of the pathogen.

Keywords: Autophagy; Dissemination; Host cell death induction; Intracellular persistence; Invasion; Phagosomal escape; Staphylococcus aureus; Trojan horse phenotype.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagy
  • Cytoplasm / microbiology*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Immune Evasion
  • Macrophages / microbiology
  • Mice
  • Phagocytes / microbiology
  • Phagocytosis
  • Phagosomes / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / immunology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics
  • Staphylococcus aureus / pathogenicity*