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The role of virulence determinants in community-associated MRSA pathogenesis.
Trends Microbiol. 2008;16(8):361-369
Date: 2008-10-16   Read: 202324

Trends Microbiol. 2008;16(8):361-369

The role of virulence determinants in community-associated MRSA pathogenesis.

Diep BA1, Otto M2

1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, 1001 Potrero Avenue, Box 0811, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA, 2National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, The National Institutes of Health, 903 South 4th Street, Hamilton, MT 59840, USA

The recent emergence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) marked a quantum change in the biology and epidemiology of a major human pathogen. Various virulence determinants unique to CA-MRSA have been uncovered recently, which shed light on how these strains spread easily and sustainably among humans and frequently cause severe disease. The role of the Panton Valentine leukocidin (PVL) in CA-MRSA pathogenesis is a matter of much debate. Although epidemiological data have indicated a role for PVL in the CA-MRSA disease process, recent data from relevant animal models indicate that PVL does not impact virulence of prevalent CA-MRSA strains. Identifying specialized pathogenic traits of CA-MRSA remains a challenge that will yield new diagnostic tools and therapeutic targets for drug and vaccine development. Here, we discuss the roles of PVL, the arginine catabolic mobile element and phenol-soluble modulins in the pathogenesis of prevalent CA-MRSA strains.

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