Metabolism Shapes Immune Responses to Staphylococcus aureus

Prabhakar Arumugam, Tammy Kielian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a common cause of hospital- and community-acquired infections that can result in various clinical manifestations ranging from mild to severe disease. The bacterium utilizes different combinations of virulence factors and biofilm formation to establish a successful infection, and the emergence of methicillin- and vancomycin-resistant strains introduces additional challenges for infection management and treatment. SUMMARY: Metabolic programming of immune cells regulates the balance of energy requirements for activation and dictates pro- versus anti-inflammatory function. Recent investigations into metabolic adaptations of leukocytes and S. aureus during infection indicate that metabolic crosstalk plays a crucial role in pathogenesis. Furthermore, S. aureus can modify its metabolic profile to fit an array of niches for commensal or invasive growth. KEY MESSAGES: Here we focus on the current understanding of immunometabolism during S. aureus infection and explore how metabolic crosstalk between the host and S. aureus influences disease outcome. We also discuss how key metabolic pathways influence leukocyte responses to other bacterial pathogens when information for S. aureus is not available. A better understanding of how S. aureus and leukocytes adapt their metabolic profiles in distinct tissue niches may reveal novel therapeutic targets to prevent or control invasive infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-30
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Innate Immunity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024


  • Biofilm
  • Immunometabolism
  • Macrophage
  • Myeloid-derived suppressor cell
  • Neutrophil
  • Staphylococcus aureus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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