The pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus in the trauma patient and potential future therapies

Am J Surg. 1996 Sep;172(3):291-6. doi: 10.1016/S0002-9610(96)00102-X.


Background: Staphylococcus aureus is the most frequently isolated pathogen in the trauma patient and uses multiple virulent factors to cause infection. At the cellular level, infection begins with the prokaryotic bacterial cell manipulating the eukaryotic host cell through its virulent factors. Researching this cellular interaction by describing the mechanisms of actions of various virulent factors may lead to new preventive therapies which will make the trauma patient less susceptible to S aureus infections.

Methods: Surgical, medical, and microbial literature was reviewed to provide an update on S aureus pathogenesis.

Results: Novel future therapies, in addition to antibiotics, are being devised based on understanding the molecular nature of S aureus pathogenesis.

Conclusion: The impact of S aureus on trauma will increase as S aureus develops more antibiotic resistance and as the trauma population becomes older and includes an increasing proportion of immunocompromised patients. To meet the challenge of increased virulence, trauma surgeons should be directly involved in the research of microbial pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Humans
  • Opportunistic Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Infections / etiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / pathogenicity*
  • Virulence
  • Wounds and Injuries / microbiology*