Many people carry staph bacteria but never develop staph infections. If one has a staph
infection, there is a good chance that it stemmed from bacteria they have been carrying around for
some time. These bacteria can also be transmitted person to person. Because staph bacteria are so
hardy, they can live on inanimate objects such as pillowcases or towels long enough to transfer to the
next person who touches them. Staph bacteria are able to survive drying, extremes of temperature, and
and high levels of salt.
Staph infections can range from minor skin problems to endocarditis, a life-threatening
infection of the heart valve lining. As a result, signs and symptoms of staph infections vary widely,
depending on the location and severity of the infection. Skin infections caused by staph bacteria include
boils, impetigo, staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome, bacteremia, and septic arthritis. The
most common type of staph infection is the boil, a pocket of pus that develops in a hair follicle or oil
gland. The skin over the infected area usually becomes red and swollen. If a boil breaks open, it may
drain pus, blood, or an amber colored liquid. Boils occur most often under the arms or around the groin
or buttocks. Impetigo is a contagious often painful rash that can occur in all ages, but most common in
young children. The types of impetigo caused by staph bacteria usually feature large blisters that may
ooze fluid and develop a honey-colored crust. These sores occur most commonly around the nose and
mouth. Toxins produced as a result of staph infection may lead to Staphylococcal scalded skin
syndrome. Affecting mostly newborns, this condition features a fever, a rash, and sometimes blisters.
When the blisters break, the top layer of skin comes off-leaving a red, raw surface that looks like a
burn. Bacteremia, blood poisoning, occurs when staph bacteria enter a person's bloodstream. A
persistent fever is one sign of bacteremia. The bacteria can travel to locations deep within the body, to
produce infections affecting internal organs, bones and muscles, surgically implanted devices, and toxic
shock syndrome. Septic arthritis is often caused by a staph infection. The bacteria usually target the
knees, but other joints can be affected. Signs and symptoms include: joint swelling, severe pain in the
infected joint, fever, and shaking or chills.
MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. This organism is known
for causing skin infections in addition to many other types of infections. Most of the time, staph
bacteria cause no problems or result in relatively minor skin infections. But staph infections like MRSA
can turn deadly if the bacteria invade deeper into the body, entering through the bloodstream, joints,
bones, lungs or heart.
MRSA is commonly described as a 'superbug,' because the species of resistant bacteria include strains of bacteria that have ability to spread, inhabit a host,and cause disease. An outbreak of infection can occur when a bacterium, fungus, or virus is transmitted to vulnerable hosts. The bacteria reproduce by binary fission, in which the DNA of the cell replicates, and attaches itself onto the cell membrane, which separate the DNA molecules from each other. The bacteria will double in size, and then from a cell wall, to from two new bacteria, which are the same. These bacteria carry genes encoding penicillinase (bata-lactamase), these enzymes break down penicillin and prevent it from killing the staph bacteria. They can do this because they have the ability to modify their DNA by mutation or by acquisition of DNA from other bacteria. In the past, lethal staph infections might have occurred in a person who was hospitalized or had a
chronic illness or weakened immune system. Now, a growing number of otherwise healthy people are
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