The interaction of bacterial pathogens with platelets.

In recent years, the frequency of serious cardiovascular infections such as endocarditis has increased, particularly in association with nosocomially acquired antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Growing evidence suggests a crucial role for the interaction of bacteria with human platelets in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular infections. Here, we review the nature of the interactions between platelets and bacteria, and the role of these interactions in the pathogenesis of endocarditis and other cardiovascular diseases.