Staphylococcus aureus

An aerobic gram-positive coccus that produces smooth colonies. Pigmentation of the colonies may range from gray, gray-white, yellow, yellow-orange or orange. It produces both free and bound coagulases and hemolysins (exotoxins). Some isolates produce an epidermolytic toxin that is responsible for the staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome. Some isolates produce endotoxins which when ingested are responsible for staphylococcal food poisoning. It can be part of the normal flora of the skin, skin glands, anterior nares, mucous membranes, gastrointestinal tract, and genital tract of humans, warm-blooded animals, and birds. It is an opportunistic pathogen causing a wide range of infections including: furuncles (boils), carbuncles, impetigo, epidermal necrolysis, osteomyelitis, meningitis, endocarditis, pneumonia, mastitis, bacteremia, enterocolitis, staphylococcal food poisoning and toxic shock syndrome.

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