Medical Microbiology and Immunology

, Volume 208, Issue 5, pp 585–607 | Cite as

Interaction of host and Staphylococcus aureus protease-system regulates virulence and pathogenicity

  • Vigyasa Singh
  • Ujjal Jyoti PhukanEmail author


Staphylococcus aureus causes various health care- and community-associated infections as well as certain chronic TH2 driven inflammatory diseases. It is a potent pathogen with serious virulence and associated high morbidity. Severe pathogenicity is accredited to the S. aureus secreted virulence factors such as proteases and host protease modulators. These virulence factors promote adhesion and invasion of bacteria through damage of tight junction barrier and keratinocytes. They inhibit activation and transmigration of various immune cells such as neutrophils (and neutrophil proteases) to evade opsono-phagocytosis and intracellular bacterial killing. Additionally, they protect the bacteria from extracellular killing by disrupting integrity of extracellular matrix. Platelet activation and agglutination is also impaired by these factors. They also block the classical as well as alternative pathways of complement activation and assist in spread of infection through blood and tissue. As these factors are exquisite factors of S. aureus mediated disease development, we have focused on review of diversification of various protease-system associated virulence factors, their structural building, diverse role in disease development and available therapeutic counter measures. This review summarises the role of protease-associated virulence factors during invasion and progression of disease.


Staphylococcus aureus Virulence factors Proteases Modulators of proteases Regulators of immune cells 



Authors would like to acknowledge Prof. Ashis Kumar Nandi, JNU, New Delhi, India and Dr. M.P. Darokar CSIR-CIMAP, Lucknow, India for their help and support. We would also like to thank Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology and DST-SERB, Govt. of India for fellowship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Molecular Bioprospection DepartmentCSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic PlantsLucknowIndia
  2. 2.School of Life ScienceJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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