Staphylococcus aureus is a major cause of life-threatening infections such as bacteremia and endocarditis. Unfortunately, many strains of this bacterial species have become resistant to certain antibiotics, including methicillin and amoxicillin. These strains are known as methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Therefore, the prophylactic and therapeutic potential of antistaphylococcal vaccines is currently being explored with priority. In animal models, (passive) immunization with (antibodies directed against) certain S. aureus surface components, staphylococcal toxins and capsular polysaccharides protects against S. aureus colonization or infection. However, immunization studies performed in humans show less promising results. So far, not a single antistaphylococcal vaccine successfully passed clinical trials. This article focuses on the results that were obtained with immunotherapeutic approaches directed against S. aureus in animal and human studies. In addition, it is discussed whether effective immunization approaches against S. aureus are feasible in humans.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Verkaik, N.J, van Wamel, W.J.B, & van Belkum, A.F. (2011). Immunotherapeutic approaches against Staphylococcus aureus. Immunotherapy (Vol. 3, pp. 1063–1073). doi:10.2217/imt.11.84