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Staphylococcus aureus and Influenza A Virus: Partners in Coinfection.

Staphylococcus aureus and Influenza A Virus: Partners in Coinfection.
Author Information (click to view)

Mulcahy ME, McLoughlin RM,


Mulcahy ME, McLoughlin RM, (click to view)

Mulcahy ME, McLoughlin RM,

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mBio 2016 12 137(6) pii e02068-16
Abstract

Nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus is a significant risk factor for secondary staphylococcal pneumonia in influenza A virus (IAV)-infected hosts. However, little research has been undertaken to define the environmental and physiological changes that cause S. aureus to shift from commensal to pathogenic organism in this setting. The ability of virus-driven danger signals to cause S. aureus to transition from commensalism to pulmonary infection was explored in a recent study by Reddinger et al. R. M. Reddinger, N. R. Luke-Marshall, A. P. Hakansson, and A. A. Campagnari, mBio 7(6):e01235-16, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.01235-16 The authors report that physiological host changes, including febrile temperature and a combination of host stress response signals, caused S. aureus biofilms to disperse from the nasal environment and cause active pulmonary infection. This commentary discusses the new finding in light of the current understanding of the mechanisms behind staphylococcal coinfection with IAV. In addition, it considers the mechanisms behind staphylococcal dispersal in this model. Overall, the study indicates that interkingdom signaling may occur following IAV infection and this likely contributes to sensitizing the IAV-infected host to secondary staphylococcal pneumonia.

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