1887

Abstract

Meticillin-resistant (MRSA) strains are prevalent bacterial pathogens that cause both health care and community-associated infections. Increasing resistance to commonly prescribed antibiotics has made MRSA a serious threat to public health throughout the world. The USA300 strain of MRSA has been responsible for an epidemic of community-associated infections in the US, mostly involving skin and soft tissue but also more serious invasive syndromes such as pneumonia, severe sepsis and endocarditis. MRSA strains are particularly serious and potentially lethal pathogens that possess virulence mechanisms including toxins, adhesins, enzymes and immunomodulators. One of these is Panton–Valentine leukocidin (PVL), a toxin associated with abscess formation and severe necrotizing pneumonia. Earlier studies suggested that PVL was a major virulence factor in community-associated MRSA infections. However, some recent data have not supported this association while others have, leading to controversy. Therefore, investigators continue to search for additional mechanisms of pathogenesis. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the biological basis of MRSA virulence and explore future directions for research, including potential vaccines and antivirulence therapies under development that might allow clinicians to more successfully treat and prevent MRSA infections.

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2012-09-01
2020-01-24
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