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Staphylococcus (Staph Infection)

Staphylococcus Overview

Staphylococcus is a genus of bacteria that is characterized by being round (coccus or spheroid shaped), Gram-stain positive, and found as either single cells, in pairs, or more frequently, in clusters that resemble a bunch of grapes. The genus name Staphylococcus is derived from Greek terms (staphyle and kokkos) that mean "a bunch of grapes," which is how the bacteria often appear microscopically after Gram-staining. In 1884, Rosenbach first described and named the bacteria. Two major divisions of the genus Staphylococcus are separated by the bacteria's ability to produce coagulase, an enzyme that can clot blood. Most, but not all, human infections are caused by coagulase-positive S. aureus strains. S. epidermidis strains and other Staphylococcus spp that are coagulase-negative produce slime that interferes with immune defenses (phagocytosis). S. epidermidis are often associated with implanted devices (for example, catheters, prosthetic devices).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/11/2014

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Staphylococcal Infections »

Staphylococcal infections are usually caused by the organism Staphylococcus aureus.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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