Staphylococcus aureus infection can lead to the development of serious conditions such as endocarditis, pneumonia, and septicemia and requires intensive antibiotic therapy. The emergence of S. aureus resistance to multiple antibiotics poses major clinical problems, and novel strategies for treating the bacterium are needed. Salicylic acid (SAL), the aspirin metabolite, has been shown to reduce the in vivo virulence of S. aureus in experimental endocarditis through antiplatelet and antimicrobial mechanisms, but its direct effects on bacterial virulence have been unclear. In the July 15 Journal of Clinical Investigation, Leon Iri Kupferwasser from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center show that SAL attenuates S. aureus virulence in endovascular infections by targeting bacterial global regulatory pathways (Journal of Clinical Investigation, 112:222-233, July 15, 2003).

Kupferwasser et al. examined clinical and laboratory S. aureus strains in the presence or absence of SAL. They observed that SAL reduced the expression of the α-hemolysin gene promoter,...

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