The phages of staphylococci: critical catalysts in health and disease

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The phages that infect Staphylococcus species are dominant residents of the skin microbiome that play critical roles in health and disease. While temperate phages, which can integrate into the host genome, have the potential to promote staphylococcal pathogenesis, the strictly lytic variety are powerful antimicrobials that are being exploited for therapeutic applications. This article reviews recent insights into the diversity of staphylococcal phages and newly described mechanisms by which they influence host pathogenicity. The latest efforts to harness these viruses to eradicate staphylococcal infections are also highlighted. Decades of research has focused on the temperate phages of Staphylococcus aureus as model systems, thus underscoring the need to broaden basic research efforts to include diverse phages that infect other clinically relevant Staphylococcus species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1117-1129
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • SaPI
  • Staphylococcus
  • pathogenesis
  • phage
  • phage therapy
  • transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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