A TSLP-complement axis mediates neutrophil killing of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

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Science Immunology  18 Nov 2016:
Vol. 1, Issue 5, eaaf8471
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aaf8471

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“Complement”ary MRSA fight

Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is a cytokine thought to promote allergic responses; however, its role in fighting infectious diseases is less clear. Now, West et al. report that TSLP in the skin can enhance killing of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). TSLP enhances killing in both mouse and human neutrophils, in part through interactions with the complement system that induce reactive oxygen species in neutrophils. This enhanced killing is not limited to MRSA because TSLP also boosts killing of Streptococcus pyogenes. These data suggest that TSLP may augment innate immune cells and complement to fight bacterial infection.