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staphylococcus

staphylococcus (stăf´ələkŏk´əs), any of the pathogenic bacteria, parasitic to humans, that belong to the genus Staphylococcus. The spherical bacterial cells (cocci) typically occur in irregular clusters [Gr. staphyle=bunch of grapes]. The term staphylococcus is also sometimes used loosely for the cluster arrangement itself and, broadly, for any bacteria with such a growth pattern. The pigments produced by staphylococci are the basis of the names given to the various strains—those with colors ranging from orange to yellow are designated S. aureus; white strains are known as S. albus.

Staphylococci cause abscesses, boils, and other infections of the skin, such as impetigo. They can also produce infection in any organ of the body (e.g., staphylococcal pneumonia of the lungs). The most common form of food poisoning is brought on by staphylococcus-contaminated food. The staphylococcus organisms also generate toxins and enzymes that can destroy both red and white blood cells.

Unlike some other types of bacteria, staphylococci are generally partly or wholly resistant to antibiotic action; this raises serious problems in the treatment and control of staphylococcus infections (see drug resistance). The rise of drug-resistant virulent strains of S. aureus, particularly methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), has led increasing concern in the medical community. Although sick patients with compromised immune systems and children are most susceptible to the strains, which most typically are contracted in hospital, nursing home, and other health-care settings, healthy persons have also been infected. Pharmaceutical companies are working to develop new antibiotics to kill drug-resistant strains of staphylococcus and other bacteria, and a vaccine for S. aureus has been developed.

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"staphylococcus." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"staphylococcus." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/staphylococcus

Staphylococcus

Staphylococcus (staf-i-loh-kok-ŭs) n. a genus of Gram-positive nonmotile spherical bacteria occurring in grapelike clusters. Some species are saprophytes; others parasites. Many species produce exotoxins. More serious infections that are caused by staphylococci include pneumonia, bacteraemia, osteomyelitis, and enterocolitis. S. aureus a species that causes boils and internal abscesses. See also MRSA.
staphylococcal adj.

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"Staphylococcus." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Staphylococcus." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/staphylococcus

staphylococcus

staph·y·lo·coc·cus / ˌstaf(ə)lōˈkäkəs/ • n. (pl. staphylococci / -ˈkäkˌsī; -ˌsē/ ) a bacterium of a genus (Staphylococcus) that includes many pathogenic kinds that cause pus formation, esp. in the skin and mucous membranes. DERIVATIVES: staph·y·lo·coc·cal / -ˈkäkəl/ adj.

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"staphylococcus." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"staphylococcus." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/staphylococcus

Staphylococcus

Staphylococcus (family Micrococcaceae) A genus of bacteria in which the spherical, Gram-positive cells occur singly, in pairs, and in irregular clusters. They are non-motile. They are chemo-organotrophic, and capable of growth in the presence or absence of air. They are found mainly in or on the bodies of mammals. Many can be pathogenic, causing a variety of conditions, including boils, abscesses, food poisoning, etc.

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"Staphylococcus." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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staphylococcus

staphylococcus Spherical bacterium that grows in grape-like clusters and is found on the skin and mucous membranes of human beings and other animals. Pathogenic staphylococci cause a range of local or generalized infections, including pneumonia and septicaemia. They may be destroyed by antibiotics, although some strains have become resistant.

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"staphylococcus." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"staphylococcus." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/staphylococcus