Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus


Routine Practices

General Information

Facultatively anaerobic Gram-positive coccus in clusters, coagulase positive.

Naturally found in the anterior nares of humans and animals. Approximately 10 to 30% of humans are persistently colonized, with the others being intermittent carriers or non-carriers. Also transiently colonizes the skin, axilla, perineum, throat, gastrointestinal tract, and genitourinary tract.

Global distribution. Transmission through direct contact with contaminated environment, person-to-person spread, or endogenous dissemination.

Community-acquired infections including:

  • Skin and soft tissue infections (impetigo, folliculitis, furuncules, caruncles, hydradenitis suppurativa, mastitis, erysipelas, cellulitis, pyomyositis, necrotizing fasciitis, etc.)
  • Staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome
  • Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome
  • Food poisoning
  • Osteoarticular infections
  • Bloodstream infections
  • Native valve infective endocarditis
  • Pneumonia

Nosocomial infections including:

  • Surgical site infections
  • Central line-associated bloodstream infections
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonias
  • Prosthetic valve infective endocarditis
  • Prosthetic joint infections

S. aureus isolated from a blood culture should NEVER be considered a contaminant.