Profile of the Month

John Chen

PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Microbiology and Immunology

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Bacterial pathogenesis

Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive pathogen that causes a wide spectrum of diseases ranging from skin and soft tissue infections to fatal necrotising pneumonia and is a major threat to public health. It is an extremely versatile pathogen that carries a diverse array of immune system evasion factors that enables it to infect or colonise nearly every niche and tissue of a host. Its pathogenic versatility is further compounded by an extraordinary propensity for adaptation when faced with environmental challenges. Historically, S. aureus infections were treatable with antibiotics; but in recent decades, antibiotic-resistant strains have reached epidemic proportions. Methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains that were once largely confined to the immune-compromised in healthcare settings are now expanding to the community and infecting healthy individuals.