Staphylococcus spp.


  • Staphylococcus genus (Staph): Gram-positive beta-hemolytic bacteria; occur singly, in pairs, short chains, and clusters (from Greek staphylé, "bunch of grapes").
    • Ubiquitous colonizers of skin and mucous membranes, esp anterior nares.
      • S. aureus (SA) is coagulase positive.
      • Coagulase-negative Staph (CoNS) >30 species, 15 of which are human pathogens.
        • S. epidermidis, S. saprophyticus (novobiocin resistant), S. haemolyticus, S. lugdunensis and S. schleiferi most common.
  • SA produces several toxins
    • Membrane-damaging toxins
    • Superantigens, i.e., toxic shock syndrome toxin [TSST] and enterotoxins[9]
    • Enzymes, i.e., exfoliative toxins - staphylococcal scalded-skin syndrome
  • Staph grow rapidly on blood agar and other non-selective media, can survive harsh environmental conditions (high-salt media), and are relatively heat-resistant.
  • Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA): >80% of CoNS. Global antimicrobial surveillance trends show decline in prevalence of MRSA among bloodstream infections since 2009.[14]
  • Vancomycin-intermediate resistance (VISA) and vancomycin-resistant strains are recognized.[8]

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Last updated: November 7, 2020