Staphylococcus aureus is a common cause for skin infections, respiratory infections, and food poisoning.
Animals and Humans; It usually does not affect healthy people, but S. aureus makes toxins. It is especially detrimental to immunocompromised individuals.
Transmission / Exposure Route
S. aureus is commonly found on the human body, like in the nose or on skin. However, the bacteria take advantage of open wounds or other entry sites to cause an infection. Also, it can be transmitted through air droplets or aerosol. So, when someone infected coughs into the air, the bacteria can infect others. It can also be transmitted through direct contact with objects that are contaminated by the bacteria or by bites from infected people or animals. It can be transmitted by eating contaminated foods. Infections occur in hospitals, after surgery.
Case Fatality Ratio
Each year, around 500,000 patients in hospitals of the United States contract a staph infection after a surgery. Up to 50,000 deaths each year in the USA.
If food poisoning is contracted, the incubation period lasts one to six hours. For skin and respiratory infections, the incubation period is around 2 to 10 days.
A Gram positive, non-motile, round shaped bacterium.
It is a facultative anaerobe, so it can grow with or without oxygen.