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Semin Immunopathol. 2012 Mar;34(2):299-315. doi: 10.1007/s00281-011-0297-1. Epub 2011 Nov 17.

Targeting the host-pathogen interface for treatment of Staphylococcus aureus infection.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and the Immunobiology Research Institute, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.


Recent emergence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus both within and outside healthcare settings has accelerated the use of once reserved last line antibiotics such as vancomycin. With increased use of antibiotics, there has been a rapid rise in the rate of resistance development to the anti-MRSA drugs. As the antibiotic pipeline becomes strained, alternative strategies are being sought for future treatment of S. aureus. Here, we review several novel anti-staphylococcal strategies that, unlike conventional antibiotics, do not target essential gene products elaborated by the pathogen. The approaches seek instead to weaken the S. aureus defense by neutralizing its virulence factors or boosting host immunity. Other strategies target commensal bacteria that naturally colonize the human host to inhibit S. aureus colonization. Ultimately, the aim is to shift the balance between host defense and pathogen virulence in favor of inhibition of S. aureus pathogenic activities.

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