Chapter 16 : : the “Superbug”

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This chapter provides a review of one's knowledge of immune defense mechanisms, with special emphasis on the recent emergence of community-associated antibiotic resistant strains. Two families of molecules have an especially important role in the colonization of human body surfaces: (i) bacterial surface-bound proteins that bind to human matrix proteins for a tight interaction with epithelial tissues and (ii) ion transporters that cope with the high-salt and low-pH environment of the skin. It is important to stress that innate host defense is most likely by far the most important part of host defense with the task of eliminating invading . may survive in phagocytes over certain periods without lysing them. The immune evasion strategies described so far are rather ‘’passive’’; i.e., they either provide the pathogen with molecules necessary to survive under the hostile conditions encountered on or inside the human body, are aimed to hide from the immune system in a relatively benign fashion, or finally, sabotage mechanisms of the host that would kill . First reported to occur in children in the northwestern United States, CA-MRSA has spread with astounding speed. The molecular reason for which community associated methicillin-resistant (CA-MRSA) and especially USA300 are so much more infective than their hospital-associated counterparts is still puzzling researchers.

Citation: Otto M. 2009. : the “Superbug”, p 297-309. In Jaykus L, Wang H, Schlesinger L (ed), Food-Borne Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815479.ch16

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