Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most successful opportunistic pathogen able to cause serious infections due to its ability to produce virulence factors and acquire antimicrobial resistance. Recent reports indicate that the phenotypic changes in the cell wall and cell membrane are essential mechanisms related to the resistance to several antibacterial drugs (such as daptomycin and vancomycin). These alterations involve changes in cell wall composition and chemical modifications of some components (point mutation leading to modification in phosphatidylglycerol molecule, in the production of the aberrations in peptidoglycan structure and decrease in autolytic activity of the components of the cell envelope), leading to changes in electric charge of the cell surface, cell membrane fluidity and cell morphology. In fact, S. aureus develops several multifactorial and strain-specific adaptive mechanisms to survival in host. The study of such mechanisms is very important. The aim of this chapter is to review the phenotypic mechanisms related to drug resistance in S. aureus.
Part of the book: The Rise of Virulence and Antibiotic Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus