Antiplatelet therapy for Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia: Will it stick?


Tatara AM, Gandhi RG, Mooney DJ, Nelson SB. Antiplatelet therapy for Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia: Will it stick?. PLoS Pathog. 2022;18 (2) :e1010240.

Date Published:

2022 02


Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB) remains a clinically challenging infection despite extensive investigation. Repurposing medications approved for other indications is appealing as clinical safety profiles have already been established. Ticagrelor, a reversible adenosine diphosphate receptor antagonist that prevents platelet aggregation, is indicated for patients suffering from acute coronary syndrome (ACS). However, some clinical data suggest that patients treated with ticagrelor are less likely to have poor outcomes due to S. aureus infection. There are several potential mechanisms by which ticagrelor may affect S. aureus virulence. These include direct antibacterial activity, up-regulation of the innate immune system through boosting platelet-mediated S. aureus killing, and prevention of S. aureus adhesion to host tissues. In this Pearl, we review the clinical data surrounding ticagrelor and infection as well as explore the evidence surrounding these proposed mechanisms of action. While more evidence is needed before antiplatelet medications formally become part of the arsenal against S. aureus infection, these potential mechanisms represent exciting pathways to target in the host/pathogen interface.