Staphylococcus aureus is a species of gram positive cocci, which are aerobes/facultative anaerobes, non motile, non spore forming and arranged in irregular grape like clusters. They form golden or white colonies. Golden colonies are due to staphyloxanthin, a carotenoid pigment.
Staphyloxanthin inactivates the microbial effect of superoxides and other reactive oxygen species within neutrophils.
Pathogenesis occurs by production of toxins and inflammation. The typical lesion is abscess, which undergoes central necrosis and drains to the outside.
• Toxic shock syndrome toxin
• Teichoic acid
• Polysaccharide capsule
Mechanism of Action
They are responsible for causing food poisoning.
• Super antigens are present which stimulate the release of IL-1 and IL-2 cytokines from lymphoid cells
• Stimulate enteric nervous system
• Stimulate vomiting center
They are resistant to stomach acid and enzymes
TSST (Toxic shock syndrome toxin)
• toxin enters blood stream causing toxemia
• these are superantigens
• they release of IL-1, IL-2 and tumor necrosis factor
• cause toxic shock
Exfoliatin is epidermolytic. It acts as a protease
Alpha toxins are responsible for:
a. necrosis of skin
c. formation of holes in the cell membrane
d. loss of low molecular weight substances from damaged cells
PV leukocidin causes pore formation in cell membrane. Mainly WBCs are involved.
Coagulase activates prothrombin to form thrombin, which walls off the infected site
Staphylokinase is a fibrinolysin. It breaks down thrombi.
Staphyloxanthin inactivates superoxides and reactive oxygen species.
Protein A binds to Fc portion of IgG. It prevents activation of complement. No opsonization and phagocytosis takes place.
Teichoic acid mediates adherence of staphylococci to mucosal cells. It also plays role in induction of septic shock.
Peptidoglycan has endotoxin like properties. It stimulates macrophage to produce cytokines.
• Nose is the main site of colonization
• Hand contact
• Shedding from human lesions and fomites
• heavily contaminated environment
• reduced humoral immunity
• low neutrophils level
• i/v drugs abusers
• diseases like diabetes mellitus and chronic granulocytes disease
• skin infection
• eyelid infections
• food poisoning
• toxic shock syndrome
• scaled skin syndrome
Specimen for Identification
• swabs from infected sites
• food poisoning
• gram positive cocci
• irregular grape like clusters
• aerobic/facultative anaerobes
• non motile
• non spore forming
• Coagulase +ve
• DNAase +ve
• Catalase +ve
- Sensitive – staphylococcus epidermidis – DNAase positive
- Resistant – staphylococcus saprophyticus – DNAase negative
• Dry spot staphytect plus