Skin and Soft Tissue Infections
Staphylococcus aureus bacteria
<I>Staphyloccocus aureus</I> is a Gram-positive bacteria. Most strains are sensitive to many antibiotics, and infections can be effectively treated.<I> S. aureus </I> that are resistant to an antibiotic called methicillin are referred to as methicillin-resistant <I>S. aureus</I> or MRSA. <I>S. aureus</I> causes food poisoning, toxic shock syndrome and skin and wound infections such as scalded skin syndrome, scarlet fever, erysipelas and impetigo. Photo credit: Dr. Dennis Kunkel
A carbuncle is a contagious skin infection that often involves a group of hair follicles, often caused by the bacteria <I>S. aureus</I>. The infected material forms a lump, called mass, which occurs deep in the skin. The infected mass is filled with fluid, pus and dead tissue. Fluid may drain out of the carbuncle, but sometimes the mass is so deep that it cannot drain on its own. Photo Credit: John Watney / Photo Researchers, Inc.
A MRSA skin abscess. Photo credit: Scott Camazine / Photo Researchers, Inc.
Impetigo, a skin infection caused by <I>S. aureus</I> or group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal bacteria, on the face. Photo credit: ISM / Phototake
CA-MRSA on face
Skin infections caused by community-acquired MRSA on the face of a woman. Photo credit: Scott Camazine / Phototake
Toxic Shock Syndrome
Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a severe sudden disease caused by infection with strains of <I>S. aureus</I> bacteria phage group I. These strains make a unique poison, enterotoxin F. The beginning of the syndrome is marked by sudden high fever, headache, sore throat with swelling of the mucous membranes, diarrhea, nausea and red spots. Photo credit: Mediscan
Scalded Skin Syndrome
A dermatologic syndrome induced by epidermolytic exotoxins (exfoliatin) A and B, which are released by <I>S. aureus</I> and cause detachment within the epidermal layer. Also known as Ritter
Staphylococcus aureus, a gram positive bacteria believed to be carried by approximately 30% to 50% of healthy individuals at any given time, is responsible for the majority of skin and soft tissue infections that primary care physicians treat.