June 1, 2009

Staphylococcus Aureus Infection

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Staphylococcus aureus is a type of bacteria that causes a variety of infections in human beings. In fact, it is recognized as the most important of the bacteria to do so. It causes infections of the skin and the soft tissue, thereby resulting in boils, cellulitis and furuncles. Even though most of these infections are not very serious, staphylococcus aureus can also cause bloodstream infections, pneumonia, and joint infections if not stopped in the early stages – these infections can be very serious.

When someone suffers from an abscess, this results in the formation of a pocket of pus. The area surrounding this injury and the pocket of pus is swollen, red and painful. In the case of cellulitis, the infection affects the layers of skin and connective tissue, and usually begins with a cut or a scrape. Although cellulitis can occur on any part of the body, it is usually found on the arms or the legs. In case of cellulitis too a swelling, pain and redness is noticed. Cellulitis can usually be treated quite easily within a week, but severe infections can persist for a long time, and may have serious consequences.

Many cases of food poisoning are also essentially staphylococcus aureus infections. Food that is not properly stored can be infected by staphylococcus aureus, which also produces a dangerous toxin. Consumption of this infected food results in gastroenteritis, with the typical symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting.

Staphylococcus aureus can also cause other serious infections. These include bacteremia, or the infection of the bloodstream. Usually the skin and the mucus membrane of the human boy act as an effective barrier against this bacteria, thus protecting the body from the infection. However, if the skin suffers some trauma or if there is any mucosal damage such as that caused by a viral infection, then the bacteria is able to attack the tissues under the skin. The infection can then also affect the bloodstream. A person suffering from this infection has symptoms that include fever, chills, and difficultly in breathing. Some people however, despite being affected by staphylococcus aureus, don’t exhibit any symptoms of disease. For those who do exhibit symptoms, detection usually occurs early, allowing for prompt and successful treatment.

If the bacteria enter the bloodstream, they can easily spread to the internal organs. This can cause shock and lead to a collapse of the circulatory system, even leading to death. This is one of the most serious infections that can be caused by staphylococcus aureus.