In Jane Horack’s article “Staphylococcus epidermidis”, S. epidermidis is described as “gram-positive cocci bacteria that are part of the normal flora on the skin and nasal passages.” The article goes on to say that the species was originally named Staphylococcus Albus by microbiologist Rosenback in 1884. When viewed under a microscope S. epidermidis will appear in chains, pairs, or grape-like clusters (Horak 1). Taxonomically, the species S. epidermidis falls in the genus Staphylococcus, which is in the bacterial family Staphylococcaceae. S. epidermidis is in the phylum Firmicutes, under the Bacillales order. Like many members of the genus Staphylococcus, S. epidermidis is non-motile, as well as non-spore forming (Horak 1). The species is also facultative anaerobes, but not all strains of S. epidermidis will ferment. S. epidermidis is catalase positive, and this sets them apart from other gram-positive cocci, such as Streptococcus. They are also urease positive, cannot utilize Mannitol, and are resistant to several antibiotics (Horak). Staphylococcus epidermidis is considered “an opportunistic pathogen.” It usually has a symbiotic relationship with its host, and for this reason it rarely causes diseases and is usually considered nonpathogenic (Avdic, Habes, and Avdic 3885). Recently though, the microorganism is becoming the common cause of nosocomial infections. In “Microbiology: with diseases by taxonomy”, Richard Bauman defines a nosocomial infection as “a disease acquired in a healthcare setting.” These infections are often found with implants and plastic items that have inserted into the body, such as catheters, pacemakers, and urinary catheters (Avdic, et. al 3885). “The ability of this microorganism to causes infections is primarily due to its ability to form biofilms on synthetic surfaces of implanted medical devices” (Avdic, et. al 3885). Biofilms are considered the primary residence of microorganisms in nature, and are composed of...
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