Staphylococcal infection

Staphylococcal infection
Staphylococcal infection
Classification and external resources

SEM micrograph of S. aureus colonies; note the grape-like clustering common to Staphylococcus species.
MeSH C013203

Staphylococcus is a genus of Gram-positive bacteria which includes several species that can cause a wide variety of infections in humans and other animals through either toxin production or invasion.

Staphylococcal toxins are a common cause of food poisoning, as they can be produced in improperly-stored food.



The main coagulase-positive staphylococcus is Staphylococcus aureus.

These bacteria can survive on dry surfaces, increasing the chance of transmission. S. aureus is also implicated in toxic shock syndrome; during the 1980s some tampons allowed the rapid growth of S. aureus, which released toxins that were absorbed into the bloodstream. Any S. aureus infection can cause the staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome, a cutaneous reaction to exotoxin absorbed into the bloodstream. It can also cause a type of septicaemia called pyaemia. The infection can be life-threatening. Problematically, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a major cause of hospital-acquired infections, and is being recognized with increasing frequency in community-acquired infections.


The generic name Staphylococcus is derived from the Greek word "staphyle" meaning a bunch of grapes, and "kokkos" means berries. The bacteria, when seen under a microscope appear like a branch of grapes or berries.

Main Staphylococcus aureus infections
Type Examples
Localized skin infections

Diffuse skin infection

Deep, localized infections

Other infections

  • Acute infective endocarditis
  • Septicemia
  • Necrotizing pneumonia


Unless else specified in boxes, then reference is [1]

Other infections include:

  • Closed-space infections of the fingertips, known as paronychia.


As with all genus (generic) names in binomial nomenclature, Staphylococcus is capitalized when used alone or with the species. It is also properly italicized. However, it is not capitalized or italicized when used in adjectival forms (as in a staphylococcal infection), or as the plural (staphylococci or when writing of one of several types of staphylococcus).[2]


  • S. saprophyticus, another coagulase-negative species that is part of the normal vaginal flora, is predominantly implicated in genitourinary tract infections in sexually-active young women.
  • In recent years, several other staphylococcal species have been implicated in human infections, notably S. lugdunensis, S. schleiferi, and S. caprae.


  1. ^ Page 349 in: Fisher, Bruce; Harvey, Richard P.; Champe, Pamela C.. Lippincott's Illustrated Reviews: Microbiology (Lippincott's Illustrated Reviews Series). Hagerstown, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 0-7817-8215-5. 
  2. ^ See genus and species capitalization.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Staphylococcal infection — Infection with one of the Staphylococcal bacteria. Staph infection can cause pus filled abscesses on the skin or internal organs, and can migrate through the blood to infect the heart, meninges, and other areas. Treatment is with antibiotics and… …   Medical dictionary

  • staphylococcal infection — noun an infection with staphylococcus bacteria; usually marked by abscess formation • Hypernyms: ↑infection • Hyponyms: ↑boil, ↑furuncle, ↑carbuncle …   Useful english dictionary

  • staphylococcal — adjective of or relating to the staphylococcus bacteria a staphylococcal infection • Pertains to noun: ↑staphylococcus • Derivationally related forms: ↑staphylococcus * * * |stafəlō|käkəl adjective Etymology …   Useful english dictionary

  • staphylococcal — Relating to or caused by any organism of the genus Staphylococcus. * * * staph·y·lo·coc·cal .staf (ə )lō käk əl also staph·y·lo·coc·cic käk (s)ik adj of, relating to, caused by, or being a staphylococcus <staphylococcal infection> <a… …   Medical dictionary

  • Staphylococcal enteritis — is a form of enteritis due to food poisoning caused by one of a variety of Staphylococcus bacteria. The illness is not necessarily the result of active infection, but can be the result of toxins that may have been left in the food due to improper …   Wikipedia

  • Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome — Klassifikation nach ICD 10 L00 Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSS Syndrom) Dermatitis exfoliativa neonatorum (Ritter von Rittershain) Pemphigus acutus neonatorum Staphylogenes Lyell Syndrom …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome — Klassifikation nach ICD 10 L00 Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSS Syndrom) Dermatitis exfoliativa neonatorum (Ritter von Rittershain) Pemphigus acutus neonatorum Staphylogenes Lyell Syndrom …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome — An infection of the skin with group II Staphylococcus aurea bacteria. The bacteria release toxins, causing inflamed, scaling skin that looks as though it has been burned. It is more common in children than in adults, but is more likely to cause… …   Medical dictionary

  • staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome — (Lyell s disease, Ritter s disease) a potentially serious condition of young infants in which the skin becomes reddened and tender and then peels off, giving the appearance of a scald. The area of skin loss may be quite extensive. The underlying… …   Medical dictionary

  • staphylococcal mastitis — bovine mastitis caused by infection with Staphylococcus aureus; it may be either subclinical or acute. The acute forms sometimes result in skin sloughing, gangrene, and death. Cf. udder impetigo …   Medical dictionary

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