Strengthening the immune system as an antimicrobial strategy against Staphylococcus aureus infections


Staphylococcus aureus asymptomatically colonises the nose of about 20% of the healthy population, but can also cause mild to severe infections. Antibiotic treatment of these infections is not always successful, resulting in substantial therapy failure. Therefore, more effective treatment is urgently required. Among alternative antimicrobial intervention strategies,  both active and passive immunisation in the prevention and cure of S. aureus infection is investigated in experimental animals and patients. The translational value of animal studies is determined by a proper selection of bacterial target, infection model, treatment modalities, and outcome parameters. In experimental animals, various infection models are described for studying the efficacy of immunisation. Most of these studies focussing on a broad range of bacterial targets were successful in prevention, reduction or cure of infection. The efficacy of immunisation focused on a limited number of bacterial  targets was also investigated in S. aureus infected patients or individuals that are at high risk for S. aureus infection. In these studies, final conclusions on the efficacy of immunisation cannot be drawn.

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