Staphylococcus Epidermidis

Topics: Bacteria, Immune system, Staphylococcus Pages: 3 (1166 words) Published: May 2, 2013
Staphylococcus epidermidis is one of the most prevalent microorganisms found on the human skin and in the mucous membranes, however, it is a typically overlooked bacterium because there is very little that is known about it. Though it is not as aggressive as its cousin Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis is the most frequent cause for nosocomial pathogens, especially among newborns, the elderly, and anyone who has a compromised immune system. These infections are usually associated with intravascular catheters and other indwelling medical devices ("Staphylococcus epidermidis"). S. epidermidis produces a biofilm that grows on medical devices and then microorganisms are able to attach to themselves to the biofilm. It is also resistant to common antibiotics which make it difficult to treat which is why it is very important for hospitals to prevent infection by keeping a sterile environment and to follow aseptic techniques at all times ("Staphylococcus epidermidis"). Staphylococcus epidermidis is a gram-positive bacterium, whose species belongs to the genus Staphylococcus. It was an unknown species until 1884, when microbiologist, Fredrich Julius Rosenbach, distinguished it from Staphylococcus aureus. He had discovered that S. epidermidis grew in white colonies, whereas S. aureus grew in yellow colonies. As a result of those findings, he had initially named it Staphylococcus albus (Horak). When viewed under the microscope, S. epidermidis can usually be found growing in round, grape-like clusters, but it may also grow in chains or pairs. Just like most members of this genus, S. epidermidis is non-motile and they do not form spores. It is a facultative anaerobe that is able to grow by aerobic respiration or by formation (Horak). S. epidermidis is a coagulase-negative strain of the Staphylococcus species and is not able to utilize mannitol, which can easily distinguish it from S. aureus. It is also positive for urease and it is sensitive to...
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