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Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2003 Jun;16(3):225-9.

The role of fibronectin binding proteins in the pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus infections.

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  • 1Infectious Disease Section, VA Puget Sound Health Care System and University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98108, USA.



Staphylococcus aureus produces two closely-related fibronectin-binding proteins (FnBPs) that facilitate attachment by this versatile pathogen. Recent studies of staphylococcal FnBP have increased our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that are critical in bacterial-host cell interactions and in infection.


This review will summarize current knowledge of the role of the FnBPs of Staphylococcus aureus in the pathogenesis of infection. The FnBPs, which facilitate attachment of this pathogen to host cells and to fibronectin-coated biomaterials, are important mediators of infection in experimental endocarditis. In addition, recent vaccine studies utilizing FnBP derivatives have shown partial protection in animals. FnBPs also act as invasins permitting uptake of the staphylococcus by cultured non-professional phagocytes using host fibronectin to bridge with integrins on the cell surface. However, the precise role of FnBP in tissue invasion and the relevance of intracellular invasion in disease remain to be elucidated.


FnBP is one of many adhesins expressed by S. aureus that influence host tissue adherence by binding to host fibronectin. FnBP-based vaccine strategies and novel anti-adherence tools based upon FnBP derivatives are in the early stages of investigation but may show promise in preventing staphylococcal infections.

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