Authors: Rooijakkers SH(1), van Kessel KP, van Strijp JA.

Upon entering the human body, bacteria are confronted with the sophisticated innate defense mechanisms of the human host. From work in recent years it has become obvious that a new and growing family of small and excreted proteins can counteract the antibacterial effects of innate immunity. These highly selective proteins pick out crucial elements of our immune system and inhibit their function. In Staphylococcus aureus these proteins act on specific cellular receptors, on antimicrobial peptides and especially on the complement system. The combined action of this growing group of essential virulence factors ascertains efficient innate immune evasion.