Role in Disease
S. aureus is responsible for many infections but it may also occur as a commensal. The presence of s. aureus does not always indicate infection. S. aureus can survive from hours to weeks, or even months, on dry environmental surfaces, depending on strain.
S. aureus can infect tissues when the skin or mucosal barriers have been breached. This can lead to many different types of infections including furuncles and carbuncles (a collection of furuncles). In infants, S. aureus infection can cause a severe disease - staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS).
S. aureus infections can spread through contact with pus from an infected wound, skin-to-skin contact with an infected person by producing hyaluronidase that destroys tissues, and contact with objects such as towels, sheets, clothing, or athletic equipment used by an infected person. Deeply penetrating S. aureus infections can be severe. Prosthetic joints put a person at particular risk of septic arthritis, and staphylococcal endocarditis (infection of the heart valves) and pneumonia. S. aureus can host phages, such as Panton-Valentine leukocidin, that increase its virulence.
Read more about this topic: Staphylococcus Aureus
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