Staphylococcus aureus is the most common cause of staph infections, it is a spherical bacterium, frequently living on the skin or in the nose of a person that can cause a range of illnesses from minor skin infections, such as pimples, impetigo, boils, cellulitis and abscesses, to life-threatening diseases, such as pneumonia, meningitis, endocarditis, Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), and septicemia. Abbreviated to S. aureus or Staph aureus in medical literature.
S. aureus infections can be spread through contact with pus from an infected wound, skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, and contact with objects such as towels, sheets, clothing, or athletic equipment used by an infected person.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has recently become a major cause of hospital-acquired infections and is being recognized with increasing frequency in community acquired infections. S. aureus is also implicated in Toxic Shock Syndrome; during the 1980s some tampons allowed the rapid growth of S. aureus, which released toxins that were absorbed into the bloodstream. Any S. aureus infection can cause the staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome, a cutaneous reaction to exotoxin absorbed into the bloodstream.
Incorrect identification of an isolate can impact implementation of effective treatment and/or control measures.
The ASI Staphslide Latex Test is a slide agglutination assay for the qualitative detection of coagulase (both clumping factor and protein A) to identify Staphylococcus aureus to the exclusion of other species of staphylococci. This test is for use on pure culture samples suspected of being S. aureus. The ASI Staphslide Latex Test does detect methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains that produce clumping factor and protein A. These materials are intended to be acquired, possessed and used only by health professionals.