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Staphylococcus aureus, a metabolically flexible gram-positive pathogen, causes infections in a variety of tissues. Recent evidence implicates S. aureus as an emerging cause of chorioamnionitis and premature rupture of membranes, which are associated with preterm birth and neonatal disease. We demonstrate here that S. aureus infects and forms biofilms on the choriodecidual surface of explanted human gestational membranes. Concomitantly, S. aureus elicits the production of proinflammatory cytokines, which could ultimately perturb maternal-fetal tolerance during pregnancy. Therefore, targeting the immunological response to S. aureus infection during pregnancy could attenuate disease among infected individuals, especially in the context of antibiotic resistance.
Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2016. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.