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Expert Rev Dermatol. 2010 Apr;5(2):183-195.

Staphylococcus colonization of the skin and antimicrobial peptides.

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1
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, 9000 Rockville Pike, Building 33 1W10, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA, Tel.: +1 301 443 5209.

Abstract

Staphylococci are the most abundant skin-colonizing bacteria and the most important causes of nosocomial infections and community-associated skin infections. Molecular determinants of staphylococcal skin colonization include surface polymers and proteins that promote adhesion and aggregation, and a wide variety of mechanisms to evade acquired and innate host defenses. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) likely play a central role in providing immunity to bacterial colonization on human epithelia. Recent research has shown that staphylococci have a broad arsenal to combat AMP activity, and can regulate expression of AMP-resistance mechanisms depending on the presence of AMPs. While direct in vivo evidence is still lacking, this suggests that the interplay between AMPs and AMP resistance mechanisms during evolution had a crucial role in rendering staphylococci efficient colonizers of human skin.

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