Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Microbiol. 2013 Oct;11(10):667-73. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3110. Epub 2013 Sep 10.

Phenol-soluble modulins and staphylococcal infection.

Author information

Cellular and Molecular Microbiology Division, Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine, University of Tubingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.

Erratum in

  • Nat Rev Microbiol. 2013 Nov;11(11):814.


Staphylococcus aureus is an important human pathogen and a leading cause of death worldwide. Phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs) have recently emerged as a novel toxin family defining the virulence potential of highly aggressive S. aureus isolates. PSMs have multiple roles in staphylococcal pathogenesis, causing lysis of red and white blood cells, stimulating inflammatory responses and contributing to biofilm development and the dissemination of biofilm-associated infections. Moreover, the pronounced capacity of PSMs to kill human neutrophils after phagocytosis might explain failures in the development of anti-staphylococcal vaccines. Here, we discuss recent progress made in our understanding of the biochemical and genetic properties of PSMs and their role in S. aureus pathogenesis, and suggest potential avenues to target PSMs for the development of anti-staphylococcal drugs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center