In recent years, electronic (e)‐cigarettes have dramatically increased in popularity as an alternative to conventional cigarettes. Little is known about the effects of e‐cigarette vapor (EV) on bacteria that colonize the nasopharynx, including methicillin‐resistant Staphylococcusaureus (MRSA). As most cases of pneumonia can be traced to bacteria in a patient's nasopharynx, increased virulence in potential pathogens could have direct consequences clinically for these patients. And because bacterial colonizers are spread between humans, increased virulence in one subject has implications for the community. There is accumulating evidence that exposure to cigarette smoke (CS) increases the pathogenicity of MRSA, as well as its dampening effects on the host immune system. EV exposure has also been demonstrated to increase MRSA virulence both invitro and in a murine model of pneumonia. In this chapter, we will compare the virulence changes reported in MRSA exposed to CS vs. those exposed to EV, as well as proposed mechanisms and therapeutic targets.
Part of the book: Frontiers in Staphylococcus aureus