What is a Staph Infection?

Infections caused by staphylococcus bacteria are called staphylococci. There are several categories of staphylococci. There are strains of MRSA. These bacteria are highly resistant to antibiotic treatment. Everyone should have an idea of the risks associated with these different types of infections.

Where Are Staph Bacteria Found?

Not only are staphylococcal bacteria present on the skin and in the nose of humans. But they can also be found on all kinds of objects. Those must have been in contact with people who are carriers or have been colonized by the bacteria. It is possible for people to carry staphylococci and not be infected themselves. Moreover, Staphylococci can survive for up to six months.

Subjects predisposed to staphylococcal infections include

  • Newborns and nursing mothers
  • Patients who have influenza, chronic bronchopulmonary disorders, leukemia, tumors, chronic skin disease or diabetes mellitus
  • Transplant patients with implanted prostheses, other foreign bodies or indwelling plastic intravascular catheters
  • Patients treated with adrenal steroids, radiation, immunosuppressants, or antitumor chemotherapy
  • Injecting drug users
  • Patients with chronic renal failure and dialysis treatment
  • Patients with surgical incisions, open wounds or burns

Predisposed patients may contract antibiotic-resistant staphylococci transmitted by:

  • Other patients
  • Health care personnel
  • Objects present in healthcare facilities
  • Airborne transmission

Most Common Types of Staph Infections

Direct tissue invasion is the most common mechanism of staphylococcal disease. It includes the following:

  • Skin infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Endocarditis
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Infectious arthritis

Several exotoxins are sometimes produced by staphylococci. Some have local effects; others trigger the release of cytokines from certain T cells. Thus results in serious systemic effects, such as:

  • Skin lesions
  • Shock
  • Polyvisceral insufficiency
  • Death

Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) is a toxin. It is produced by strains infected with a certain bacteriophage. It’s usually present in strains of methicillin-resistant S. aureus contracted in cities. It is thought to promote the ability to necrosis; however, this effect has not been verified.

The toxin-mediated staphylococcal diseases are as follows:

  • Toxic Shock Syndrome
  • Staphylococcal Epidermolysis Syndrome
  • Staphylococcal food poisoning

MRSA Infections

Some healthcare facilities have a high rate of nosocomial MRSA infections. They routinely screen patients admitted for MRSA. They use rapid laboratory techniques to evaluate nasal swabs. Some healthcare facilities screen only high-risk patients:

  • Those admitted to the intensive care unit
  • Those with a history of MRSA infections
  • Those about to undergo vascular, orthopedic or cardiac procedures

Early identification of MRSA results in the following outcomes:

  1. Allows carriers to be placed in isolation and administer vancomycin
  2. Decreases the spread of MRSA
  3. Decreases the incidence of nosocomial MRSA infections

Treatment of Common Types of Staph Infections

Antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus infections are generally not difficult to treat. But for some, a course of antibiotics can usually eliminate the infection.

Depending on the circumstances, a doctor may perform an incision and drainage through the infected skin. Not only does this eliminate the bacteria, but it also relieves the pain.

One of the keys to success in the fight against staph infection is to seek medical assistance as soon as possible. If you happen to be dealing with infected blood, contact Crime Scene Intervention immediately.