Staphylococcus aureus is now the most common invasive bacterial pathogen in children
in the US, and new targets of intervention are urgently needed.  Our research group has discovered that the
toxin LukAB is abundantly produced in the setting of invasive human infection
and is targeted by the host response.

LukAB
is a highly conserved exotoxin that is critical to S. aureus pathogenesis in both in
vitro and in vivo models.

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The Thomsen laboratory
has collaborated with the Crowe Laboratory at Vanderbilt to isolate and purify
human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with LukAB-specific neutralizing activity
from children with invasive S. aureus
infections.  In addition, they have
purified mAbs targeting important surface antigens. We hypothesize that a
combination of mAbs that neutralize toxicity (anti-LukAB mAbs) as well as
opsonize the bacterium for improved host killing (anti-surface mAbs) will
potently facilitate neutrophil killing of S.

aureus in vitro.