aureus knockout tirS mutant increased in a mouse model compared with wild-type and restored strains even though the tirS-mutant and wild-type strains did not differ in bacterial load. TirS also was associated with lower neutrophil and macrophage activity, confirming a central role in virulence attenuation through local inflammatory responses. TirS invariably localizes within the staphylococcal chromosomal cassettes (SCC) containing the fusC gene for fusidic acid resistance but not always carrying the mecA gene. Of note, sub-inhibitory
concentration of fusidic acid increased tirS expression. Epidemiological studies identified no link between this effector and clinical presentation but showed a selective advantage with a SCCmec element with SCC fusC/tirS. Thus, two key traits determining the success and spread of bacterial infections are linked.