The emergence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus during the past decade along with an impending shortage of effective antistaphylococcal antibiotics have fueled impressive advances in our understanding of how S. aureus overcomes the host environment to establish infection. Backed by recent technologic advances, studies have uncovered elaborate metabolic, nutritional, and virulence strategies deployed by S. aureus to survive the restrictive and hostile environment imposed by the host, leading to a plethora of promising antimicrobial approaches that have potential to remedy the antibiotic resistance crisis. In this Review, we highlight some of the critical and recently elucidated bacterial strategies that are potentially amenable to intervention, discuss their relevance to human diseases, and address the translational challenges posed by current animal models.
Isaac P. Thomsen, George Y. Liu
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