Purpose of review Methicillin-resistant strains of the important human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus pose a significant public health threat in the community, as they are easily transmitted, especially prone to cause invasive disease, and infect otherwise healthy individuals. The mechanistic basis for the ability of these organisms to evade the innate immune responses remains incompletely defined. Recent findings The success of pathogens such as S. aureus rests, in part, on their capacity to overcome neutrophilmediated host defense to establish infection and cause human disease. S. aureus has the potential to thwart effective neutrophil chemotaxis, and phagocytosis, and succeeds in evading killing by neutrophils. Furthermore, S. aureus surviving within neutrophils promotes neutrophil cytolysis, with release of hostderived molecules that promote local inflammation. Here, we provide a brief overview of our understanding of the mechanisms by which S. aureus ' including methicillin-resistant S. aureus ' avoids neutrophil-mediated host defense and causes disease. Summary Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which S. aureus avoids neutrophil-mediated responses and initiates signaling cascades that culminate in neutrophil lysis will provide insights prerequisite to the development of novel targets for treating staphylococcal infections.
- Staphylococcal infection