Staphylococcus aureus is a pathogen of great importance to clinical and veterinary medicine. Recently, there has been a growing interest in S. aureus extracellular vesicles (EVs) in the pathogenesis of this bacterium. Released by living cells into the extracellular milieu, EVs are membranous structures carrying macromolecules such as proteins, nucleic acids, and metabolites. These structures play several physiological roles and are, among others, considered a mechanism of intercellular communication within S. aureus populations but also in trans kingdom interactions. S. aureus EVs were shown to transport important bacterial survival and virulence factors, such as β-lactamases, toxins, and proteins associated with bacterial adherence to host cells, and to trigger the production of cytokines and promote tissue inflammation. In this chapter, we will review the main studies regarding S. aureus EVs, including their composition and roles in host-pathogen interactions, and the possible applications of EVs for vaccines and therapy development against staphylococcal infections.
Part of the book: Insights Into Drug Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus