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Preventing staphylococcal disease by disarming the immune responses to infection


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Use of experimental models of staphylococcal infections clarified several bacterial virulence factors as well as many hematopoetic cell types and their products that are involved in the pathogenesis of infection. For many decades it has been believed that antibody mediated response to staphylococci and their products was the major, if not the only one, hallmark of immune reactivity during infection. Recent studies have documented that T cell mediated responses to superantigens produced by staphylococci are not only prominent but also decisive with respect to sequels. Also the nonantigen specific immune responsiveness to staphylococcal infection is reviewed including roles of neutrophils, complement system and nitric oxide. The knowledge gained regarding staphylococcal virulence factors and the host immune responses has prompted researchers to develop new strategies how to interact in vivo witl the infectious process. Some of these approaches are commented in this review regarding e. g. vaccination procedures in order to prevent severe infections as well as therapeutic procedures to minimize organ damage during an ongoing infectious process.




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A. Tarkowski, Department of Rheumatology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Goteborg, Sweden


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