Uncoupling of Pro- and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Staphylococcus aureus Academic Article uri icon

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  • ABSTRACT Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive bacterium that is carried by a quarter of the healthy human population and that can cause severe infections. This pathobiosis has been linked to a balance between Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2)-dependent pro- and anti-inflammatory responses. The relationship between these two types of responses is unknown. Analysis of 16 nasal isolates of S. aureus showed heterogeneity in their capacity to induce pro- and anti-inflammatory responses, suggesting that these two responses are independent of each other. Uncoupling of these responses was corroborated by selective signaling through phosphoinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt-mTOR and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) for the anti-inflammatory response and through p38 for the proinflammatory response. Uncoupling was also observed at the level of phagocytosis and phagosomal processing of S. aureus , which were required solely for the proinflammatory response. Importantly, the anti-inflammatory properties of an S. aureus isolate correlated with its ability to modulate T cell immunity. Our results suggest the presence of anti-inflammatory TLR2 ligands in the staphylococcal cell wall, whose identification may provide templates for novel immunomodulatory drugs.


  • Peres, Adam G
  • Stegen, Camille
  • Li, Junbin
  • Xu, An Qi
  • Levast, Benoit
  • Surette, Michael
  • Cousineau, Benoit
  • Desrosiers, Martin
  • Madrenas, Joaquín

publication date

  • April 2015

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