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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8753-8772; doi:10.3390/ijms15058753

Colonization and Infection of the Skin by S. aureus: Immune System Evasion and the Response to Cationic Antimicrobial Peptides

1
Department of Biotechnology, Chosun University, Gwangju 501-759, Korea
2
Department of Dermatology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA
3
Department of Bioinformatics, Kongju National University, Kongju 314-701, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 April 2014 / Revised: 2 May 2014 / Accepted: 7 May 2014 / Published: 16 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Science for Drug Development and Biomedicine)
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Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a widespread cutaneous pathogen responsible for the great majority of bacterial skin infections in humans. The incidence of skin infections by S. aureus reflects in part the competition between host cutaneous immune defenses and S. aureus virulence factors. As part of the innate immune system in the skin, cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) such as the β-defensins and cathelicidin contribute to host cutaneous defense, which prevents harmful microorganisms, like S. aureus, from crossing epithelial barriers. Conversely, S. aureus utilizes evasive mechanisms against host defenses to promote its colonization and infection of the skin. In this review, we focus on host-pathogen interactions during colonization and infection of the skin by S. aureus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). We will discuss the peptides (defensins, cathelicidins, RNase7, dermcidin) and other mediators (toll-like receptor, IL-1 and IL-17) that comprise the host defense against S. aureus skin infection, as well as the various mechanisms by which S. aureus evades host defenses. It is anticipated that greater understanding of these mechanisms will enable development of more sustainable antimicrobial compounds and new therapeutic approaches to the treatment of S. aureus skin infection and colonization.
Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus; skin colonization; skin infection; immune system evasion; cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) Staphylococcus aureus; skin colonization; skin infection; immune system evasion; cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ryu, S.; Song, P.I.; Seo, C.H.; Cheong, H.; Park, Y. Colonization and Infection of the Skin by S. aureus: Immune System Evasion and the Response to Cationic Antimicrobial Peptides. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 8753-8772.

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