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What Diseases Are Caused by Staphylococcus?
Almost any organ system can be infected by S. aureus. Most frequently, S. aureus strains first infect the skin and it structures (for example, sebaceous glands, hair follicles) or invades damaged skin (cuts, abrasions). Sometimes the infections are relatively limited (such as a sty, boil, furuncle, or carbuncle), but other times they may spread to other skin areas (causing cellulitis, folliculitis, or impetigo). Unfortunately, these bacteria can reach the bloodstream (bacteremia) and end up in many different body sites, causing infections (wound infections, abscesses, osteomyelitis, endocarditis, pneumonia) that may severely harm or kill the infected person.
S. aureus strains also produce enzymes and exotoxins (both secreted by staph) that likely cause or increase the severity of certain diseases. Such diseases include food poisoning, septic shock, toxic shock syndrome, and scalded skin syndrome. S. epidermidis strains, which usually do not cause infections, can cause infections in people whose immune system is suppressed. Patients that have any type of indwelling catheter or implanted device are also known to get S. epidermidis infections.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/11/2014
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