The Staphylococcus Aureus Bacterium

Decent Essays
Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium mainly found on the skin and the human respiratory tracts.1 This bacterium is the cause of skin infections like boils and pimples, infections of respiratory tracts (sinusitis) and food poisoning.2 First identified in 1880 as pus from a surgical abscess, Staphylococcus aureus was treated with penicillin which was a “magic drug” when first introduced during the Second World War. Some of these bacteria then evolved, to be resistant to penicillin. Due to this, doctors treated these bacteria with more powerful antibiotics, against which also it grew resistant.1 Antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus aureus are a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Methicillin, initially used for treatment, is a marker of antibiotic resistance.4 Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is any strain of Staphylococcus aureus which, through the process of natural selection, has developed resistance to antibiotics.1
Staphylococcus aureus causes a range of diseases from minor skin infections to fatal diseases like sepsis.2 This bacterium is small and transparent, so invisible to the naked eye. To visualise, a microscope and a dye called Gram stain are required.2 With this stain, the organisms that appear purple are termed Gram positive and if pink, Gram negative.2 Based on their shape, bacteria are called bacilli (rod-shaped)or cocci (ball-like). Staphylococcus aureus is a ball-shaped bacterium found in clumps and in small groups. Another common coccus,
Get Access