Effect of salicylic acid on invasion of human vascular endothelial cells by Staphylococcus aureus


  • Editor: Alex van Belkum

Correspondence: Kang Won Choe, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 28 Yeongun-dong, Chongro-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea, 110-744. Tel.: +8 222 072 2212; fax: +8 227 629 662; e-mail: choekw@snu.ac.kr


Invasion of vascular endothelial cells by Staphylococcus aureus is associated with diverse complications and recurrent infection. Little is known about the effect of salicylic acid, the major metabolite of aspirin, on the interaction between S. aureus and vascular endothelial cells. We examined the adhesion of S. aureus strain 8325-4 cultured with or without salicylic acid to human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), and the ability of the strain to invade these cells. Strain 8325-4 cells grown in salicylic acid were significantly less adherent to and invasive in HUVECs. Production of cytokine interleukin (IL)-6 was lower from the HUVECs infected with clinical isolates of S. aureus cultured in salicylic acid compared with those unexposed to salicylic acid. This study raises the possibility of using salicylic acid as an adjuvant therapeutic agent in the treatment of S. aureus bacteremia to prevent its complications or recurrence.