Thursday, December 16, 2010

Stuff for Thought:Staphylococcus aureus in Our Bodies

drawing by marguerita

Why do one-third of the population have the staph bacteria in their noses
and not get sick while, for others, a staph infection can be lethal?

Staphylococcus aureus food poisoning is often caused when a food handler contaminates food products that are served or stored at room- or refrigerator temperature. Common examples of such foods are desserts (especially custards and cream-filled or topped desserts), salads (especially those containing mayonnaise, such as tuna salad, potato salad, and macaroni salad), poultry and other egg products, and casseroles.

Staphylococcus aureus is a natural resident of the human body.
It can be found on the skin and in mucous membranes like the nose. It inhabits the body without causing harm most of the time.Staphylococcus aureus is a facultative anaerobe; it can perform both anaerobic and aerobic respiration. Staphylococcus aureus can be pathogenic--causing disease.
MRSA (or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a pathogenic strain that is most commonly picked up in hospitals.
Staphylococcus aureus can cause disease or infection if normal conditions change--for example, if the immune system is already suppressed due to a cold or other minor infection. Staphylococcus aureus can cause boils, food poisoning, toxic shock syndrome and pneumonia. The bacteria produce a toxin in the food, which causes most of the symptoms. Risk factors include:

Eating food that was prepared by a person with a skin infection(these infections commonly contain Staphylococcus aureus bacteria)

  • Eating food kept at room temperature
  • Eating improperly prepared food
  • Eating the same food as someone who has symptoms

The disease is common in the U.S.

Read more: Staphylococcus Aureus & Biochemical Characteristics |

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