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Staph infection symptoms face: Staph infections – Symptoms and causes


Staph Infections (for Parents) – Nemours Kidshealth

What Is a Staph Infection?

Staph is the shortened name for Staphylococcus (staf-uh-low-KAH-kus), a type of bacteria. These bacteria live harmlessly on many skin surfaces, especially around the nose, mouth, genitals, and anus. But if the skin is punctured or broken, staph bacteria can enter the wound and cause an infection.

Staphylococcus aureus cause most staph skin infections, and also can release toxins (poisons) that lead to illnesses like food poisoning or toxic shock syndrome.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of a Staph Skin Infection?

Staph skin infections show up in lots of different ways. Conditions often caused by S. aureus include:

  • Folliculitis (fuh-lih-kyoo-LY-tus): This is an infection of the hair follicles, the tiny pockets under the skin where hair shafts (strands) grow. In folliculitis, tiny white-headed pimples appear at the base of hair shafts, sometimes with a small red area around each pimple. This happens often where people shave or have irritated skin from rubbing against clothing.
  • A furuncle (fyoor-UNK-ul), commonly known as a boil: These swollen, red, painful lumps in the skin usually are due to an infected hair follicle. The lump fills with pus, growing larger and more painful until it ruptures and drains. Furuncles often begin as folliculitis and then worsen. They most often appear on the face, neck, buttocks, armpits, and inner thighs, where small hairs can get irritated. A cluster of several furuncles is called a carbuncle (KAR-bunk-ul). Someone with a carbuncle may feel ill and and have a fever.
  • Impetigo (im-puh-TYE-go): This superficial skin infection is most common in young children, usually on the face, hands, or feet. It begins as a small blister or pimple, and then develops a honey-colored crust.
  • Cellulitis (sell-yuh-LYE-tus): This begins as a small area of redness, pain, swelling, and warmth on the skin, usually on the legs. As this area spreads, a child may feel feverish and ill.
  • A stye: Kids with one of these have a red, warm, uncomfortable bump near the edge of the eyelid.
  • MRSA: This type of staph bacteria is resistant to the antibiotics used treat staph infections. MRSA infections can be harder to treat, but most heal with proper care. Most MRSA infections involve the skin.
  • Scalded skin syndrome: This most often affects newborns and kids under age 5. It starts with a small staph skin infection, but the staph bacteria make a toxin that affects skin all over the body. The child has a fever, rash, and sometimes blisters. As blisters burst and the rash passes, the top layer of skin sheds and the skin surface becomes red and raw, like a burn. This serious illness affects the body in the same way as serious burns. It needs to be treated in a hospital. After treatment, most kids make a full recovery.
  • Wound infections: These cause symptoms (redness, pain, swelling, and warmth) similar to those from cellulitis. A person might have fever and feel sick in general. Pus or a cloudy fluid can drain from the wound and a yellow crust can develop.

How Do Staph Infections Spread?

Staph bacteria can spread:

  • when someone touches a contaminated surface
  • from person to person, especially in group living situations (like college dorms). Usually this happens when people with skin infections share personal things like bed linens, towels, or clothing.
  • from one area of their body to another, via dirty hands or fingernails

Warm, humid environments can contribute to staph infections, so excessive sweating can increase someone’s chances of developing an infection. People with skin problems like burns or eczema may be more likely to get staph skin infections.

How Are Staph Infections Treated?

Most small staph skin infections can be treated at home:

  • Soak the affected area in warm water or apply warm, moist washcloths. Use a cloth or towel only once when you soak or clean an area of infected skin. Then, wash them in soap and hot water and dry them fully in a clothes dryer.
  • Put a heating pad or a hot water bottle to the skin for about 20 minutes, three or four times a day.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment, if recommended by your doctor.
  • Give pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease pain until the infection goes away. Follow the package directions on how much to give and how often.
  • Cover the skin with a clean dressing or bandage.

Treat a stye by using warm compresses over the eye (with the eye closed) three or four times a day. Always use a clean washcloth each time. Occasionally, a stye will need a topical antibiotic.

Teens who get a staph infection on skin areas that are normally shaved should stop shaving until the infection clears up. If they do have to shave the area, they should use a clean disposable razor or clean the electric razor after each use.

Your doctor may prescribe an oral antibiotic for a staph skin infection. Give it on schedule for as many days as directed. More serious staph infections might need to be treated in a hospital, and an abscess (or pocket of pus) that doesn’t respond to home care might need to be drained.

To help prevent a staph infection from spreading to other parts of the body:

  • Don’t directly touch the infected skin.
  • Keep the area covered whenever possible.
  • Use a towel only once when you clean or dry the area. After using, wash the towel in hot water. Or use disposable towels.

How Long Does a Staph Infection Last?

How long it takes for a staph skin infection to heal depends on the type of infection and whether it’s treated. A boil, for example, may take 10 to 20 days to heal without treatment, but treatment may speed up the healing process. Most styes go away on their own within several days.

Can We Prevent Staph Skin Infections?

  • Washing hands well and often is key to preventing staph infections.
  • Encourage kids to keep their skin clean with a daily bath or shower. If a skin condition such as eczema makes regular bathing difficult, ask your doctor for advice.
  • Keep areas of injured skin — such as cuts, scrapes, and rashes caused by allergic reactions or poison ivy — clean and covered, and follow any directions given by your doctor.
  • If someone in your family has a staph infection, don’t share towels, sheets, or clothing until the infection has been fully treated.

When Should I Call the Doctor?

Call your doctor if:

  • Skin infections seem to be passing from one family member to another, or if two or more family members have skin infections at the same time.
  • You think your child has a serious wound that might be infected.
  • A stye doesn’t go away in a few days.
  • A minor infection gets worse — for example, your child starts feeling feverish or ill, or the area spreads and gets very red and hot.

6 Major Signs You Have a Staph Infection, According to Doctors

This article was medically reviewed by Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and member of the Prevention Medical Review Board on September 11, 2019.

Get a whiff of this: There’s about a 30 percent chance that staph bacteria are living inside your nose right at this moment.

That’s not necessarily something to fret over, though. Staphylococcus is a group of bacteria and there are more than 30 different types, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine. They are known as “commensal” microorganisms because they’re friendly enough to live on our bodies without causing any problems, says Paul Fey, PhD, medical director of the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s department of pathology and microbiology. “You can find staph in your nose, on your skin, and sometimes in other mucous membranes like your anus,” he explains.

But while staph bacteria are courteous houseguests when confined to their normal quarters, they can cause infections and illness (most commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus) if they gain access to areas of your body where they don’t belong. There are different types of staph infections, Dr. Fey says, and they show up in different ways.

“Staph infections most commonly develop when there is a break in the skin, giving the staph an entry point for infection,” explains Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “This may occur after regular cuts and scrapes, nicks from shaving, or even open skin because of athlete’s foot.”

In addition to minor local infections, staph can also cause a serious immune system reaction to an infection known as sepsis, says Gary Goldenberg, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. “People can die from a staph infection if it gets into the bloodstream or infects internal organs,” he says.

Not sure what to watch for? Here are the telltale signs of a staph infection you should know how to recognize.

1. Skin boils or pustules

Wendy TownrowGetty Images

Pus-filled or inflamed skin blemishes are by far the most common type of staph infection, Dr. Fey says.

“Let’s say you have a mosquito bite on your arm, and you have staph on your finger because you’ve been scratching or touching your nose,” he says. If you scratch your bug bite or some other place where your skin is broken, the staph bacteria on your finger can infect that wound and cause a big, red, painful, pus-filled blemish to form. You could also develop a rash-like cluster of raised blisters called impetigo, he says.

“It’s fairly common in the ER for people to come in thinking they have a large spider bite, when really they have a staph infection,” Dr. Fey says.

2. Skin infections

Staph is actually the most common cause of cellulitis, a common and potentially serious bacterial skin infection, Dr. Goldenberg says. “It can occur in completely healthy people or in those with weak immune systems,” he says.

Staph usually enters the skin through a cut or eczema patch and causes a local infection, leading to skin inflammation, Dr. Goldenberg explains. This can present as a warm, red, swollen area of skin that is tender or painful to the touch, most commonly on the lower legs, face, or arms.

While it may seem like no big deal, any skin condition that feels unusually painful or irritated should be evaluated by your doctor ASAP, as cellulitis can progress rapidly. “Deep infections like boils or infections of the legs should get immediate attention,” says Dr. Zeichner.

3. Food poisoning

When a food is exposed to staph, the bacteria multiply and produce toxins. It’s those toxins that can make you sick, and they can lead to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain, typically within 30 minutes to 8 hours after ingesting the contaminated food, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, it’s important to note that a fever is not typically something you’d experience from staph-related food poisoning, Dr. Fey says.

The best ways to avoid staph-related food poisoning is to make sure your food is handled at the right temperature, the CDC says. Hot foods should be kept at 140°F or hotter and cold foods at 40°F or colder. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt to wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap before cooking or eating.

4. Fever and low blood pressure

In some cases—usually when someone’s exposed to staph in a hospital setting, like during surgery—staph bacteria can get into your bloodstream, Dr. Fey says.

This can cause a blood infection known as bacteremia, which can initially lead to a fever and low blood pressure. Once in your blood, this kind of staph infection can spread to your heart, bones, and other organs—and result in a number of serious or even deadly infections. Those include pneumonia, and also a type of bone infection called osteomyelitis, which could lead to swelling or warmth in the infected area, according to resources from the Mayo Clinic.

Bacteremia could also lead to an infection of the lining of your heart known as endocarditis. Symptoms—like fever, chills, night sweats, joint pain, pale skin, and weakness—can develop very slowly, suddenly, or even come and go, per the U. S. National Library of Medicine.

5. Toxic shock syndrome

When the toxins staph produces accumulate, they can cause a particular type of blood poisoning known as toxic shock syndrome (TSS). This could lead to a sudden fever, vomiting or diarrhea, muscles aches, headaches, and a rash resembling sunburn on your palms and the soles of your feet, research shows.

TSS is rare, though. The condition affects fewer than one in 100,000 people in the U.S., according to data from the CDC.

6. Sepsis

If a staph skin infection is left untreated, it can eventually enter the bloodstream and lead to sepsis, Dr. Goldenberg says, which is an intense immune system reaction to an infection that sends harmful inflammatory chemicals into the blood and other internal organs. This can block proper blood flow and potentially cause your organs to shut down, which can be fatal. Someone with sepsis might have one or more of the following symptoms, according to the CDC:

  • A high heart rate
  • Fever, shivering, or feeling very cold
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Extreme pain or discomfort
  • Clammy or sweaty skin

    🚨 When to see your doctor about a staph infection

    You’ve probably heard of MRSA—pronounced “mer-sa”—which stands for “methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus,” Dr. Fey explains. As the name states, this is a type of staph that has developed resistance to certain antibiotic drugs, including a commonly used type called methicillin.

    In most cases, MRSA infections manifest just the same as other types of staph infections—meaning they show up as skin boils or pustules, he says. But MRSA can also lead to some of the more serious skin and blood infections mentioned above. In those cases, MRSA’s drug resistance may make it tougher to treat.

    “Staph infections need to be treated immediately.”

    That’s why “staph infections need to be treated immediately,” Dr. Goldenberg says, which could range anywhere from topical or oral antibiotics for superficial skin infections to IV antibiotics for more serious infections.

    While anyone can develop a staph infection, those with weakened immune systems and diabetes are at a higher risk, Dr. Goldenberg says. People with eczema also tend to get more superficial staph infections, he says.

    How to prevent a staph infection

    Washing your hands thoroughly and often—especially when you’ll be handling food or touching a wound or broken skin—is the best way to prevent a staph infection, Dr. Fey says.

    Neosporin Original Antibiotic Ointment

    You should also try to keep broken skin (such as itchy rashes, cuts, and sores) away from gym equipment and other surfaces that may be harboring bacteria. “Make sure you tend to any open skin by cleaning the area, applying over-the-counter antibiotic ointment and then cover with a bandage to protect the area,” Dr. Zeichner says. “Do not share personal care products like razors, as they can spread bacteria, and avoid direct contact of the skin with someone who has crusts, scabs, or signs of an active infection themselves.”

    If you have eczema, make sure it’s treated and see a doctor if you have any uncontrolled or infected-looking flare-ups, Dr. Goldenberg adds.

    Unless you have an angry skin boil or blemish, spotting a staph infection is going to be difficult, since the symptoms can overlap with all sorts of health conditions, Dr. Fey says. When in doubt, see your doctor, who can give you a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

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    What Does MRSA Look Like?

    You get a small cut, and after two or three days, you notice it’s not healing. The area is swollen, oozing and hot to the touch. You may wonder why it’s not getting better.

    What is MRSA?

    MRSA (pronounced “mur-sa”) stands for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. It refers to a group of staph bacteria that are resistant to common antibiotics. MRSA germs can get into a skin injury, such as a cut, bite, burn or scrape.

    Scott Hultman, M.D., M.B.A., a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and director of the Johns Hopkins Burn Center, says that MRSA is becoming more common. “If you spend time in locker rooms, schools, gyms or even prisons, be very careful to avoid cuts and scrapes, and if you get a skin injury in any of these environments, wash it thoroughly.

    Hultman notes that you’re more likely to get a MRSA infection if you have a weakened immune system caused by transplant drugs, HIV, hepatitis C or immune-modulator drugs for psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis.

    Do I have MRSA?

    If you’re concerned about a skin injury that’s not getting better, be on the lookout for MRSA signs and symptoms:

    Other Skin Problems That Can Be Confused with MRSA

    MRSA Versus Spider Bites

    A MRSA infection can look like a

    spider bite

    , but if you didn’t see a bug or spider on you or your child, it’s best to
    check with a doctor to be sure, since the treatment is different for bites
    than for MRSA.

    Cellulitis Versus MRSA


    is a deep skin infection caused by staph or streptococcus (strep) bacteria,
    including MRSA. Cellulitis leads to redness, swelling, pain and heat in the
    skin, sometimes in a large, diffuse area.

    MRSA Versus Impetigo

    Impetigo, a skin infection most commonly seen in children, is usually
    confined to the upper levels of skin. It can looks very similar to MRSA in
    some cases, with sores and redness. Impetigo is highly contagious, so you
    should see a doctor if you suspect either of these conditions.

    What to Do If It’s MRSA

    If a doctor confirms you have MRSA, don’t panic. When treated in time, the
    outlook in most cases is good.

    Hultman explains: “Many MRSA infections can be treated with oral
    antibiotics, but some require intra-venous medications, so make sure you
    and your doctor check the sensitivities found on laboratory testing.”

    “Most over-the-counter ointments do not cover MRSA,” he adds, “so we
    prescribe mupirocin topically, which is very effective.

    Once the infection is resolved, Hultman says it is a good idea to be tested
    to see if you are a carrier. If you are, he says don’t worry — nasal
    ointment prescribed by your doctor can “decolonize” you so you no longer
    pose a risk to yourself and others.

    Keep MRSA from spreading

    You can spread MRSA to other people if their skin touches the infected
    area, so keep the sore bandaged and protected. Be careful to wash all of
    your clothing, bed linens, towels, etc. in hot water and bleach if

    It’s super important to take all of your antibiotic medicine, even if you
    feel better, since MRSA can be stubborn. Follow all of your doctor’s
    instructions carefully for the best chance of avoiding a return of the

    About Staphylococcus aureus – Minnesota Dept. of Health

    Minnesota Department of Health Fact Sheet

    Revised February, 2010

    Download a print version of this document: Staphylococcus aureus Fact Sheet (PDF)

    Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus or “staph”) facts, including how S. aureus is spread, common symptoms and complications.

    S. aureus has long been recognized as one of the most important bacteria that cause disease in humans. It is the leading cause of skin and soft tissue infections such as abscesses (boils), furuncles, and cellulitis. Although most staph infections are not serious, S. aureus can cause serious infections such as bloodstream infections, pneumonia, or bone and joint infections.

    On this page:
    Signs and symptoms of infection
    Duration of illness
    More Fact sheets

    Signs and symptoms of infection

    • Most infections caused by S. aureus are skin and soft tissue infections such as abscesses or cellulitis.


    • Pocket of infection that forms at the site of injury.
    • Usually filled with pus.
    • Area surrounding the abscess is usually red, painful and swollen and the skin

      surrounding the abscess can feel warm to the touch.


    • An infection of the underlying layers of the skin.
    • Usually results from a scrape or cut in the skin which allows bacteria to enter, although no injury may be apparent.
    • Cellulitis can occur anywhere in the body, but most often occurs on the legs or arms.
    • Symptoms include redness, swelling, and pain at the site of infection.
    • S. aureus can also cause serious infections such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs) or bacteremia (bloodstream infection).
      • Symptoms of these infections include: difficulty breathing, malaise, fever, or chills.
    • If you suspect you may have an infection with S. aureus contact your health care provider.

    Duration of illness

    • Some people can be colonized with S. aureus and never get an infection.
      • For those people who do get an infection, the time from exposure to development of disease can be from days to years.
    • Many common skin infections caused by S. aureus will heal without medical treatment.
      • However, some skin infections will require incision and drainage of the infected site and some infections may require antibiotics.
    • Most skin infections will heal within a few weeks.
      • More serious skin infections can take longer to heal if treatment is delayed or if ineffective treatment is given.
    • Some serious S. aureus infections (such as pneumonia or bloodstream infections) typically require hospitalization and treatment with intravenous antibiotics.


    • S. aureus is most often spread to others by contaminated hands.
    • The skin and mucous membranes are usually an effective barrier against infection. However, if these barriers are breached (e.g., skin damage due to trauma or mucosal damage due to viral infection) S. aureus may gain access to underlying tissues or the bloodstream and cause infection.
    • Persons who are immunocompromised or who have invasive medical devices are particularly vulnerable to infection.

    MRSA transmission:

    • Traditionally, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections have been associated with hospitalization or other health care-associated risk factors.
    • In recent years physicians and other health care providers have observed an increasing number of people with MRSA infections who lack traditional health care-associated risk factors. These people appear to have community-associated infections.


    • Most skin infections resolve without treatment, however, some infections require incision and drainage or antibiotic treatment to cure the infection.
    • Skin infections that are left untreated can develop into more serious life-threatening infections such as infections of the bone or blood.
    • Some people experience repeated infections with S. aureus.
    • There is a possibility for longer lasting or more severe infections with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) if the initial antibiotic prescribed is not capable of killing the bacteria.

    More Fact sheets

    • Print Materials

      Includes printable fact sheets on Staph, MRSA, CA-MRSA, HA-MRSA, VISA/VRSA, and more.

    Kids Health Information : Staphylococcal infections

    Staphylococcus (referred to as staph) is a group of bacteria commonly carried on the skin or in the nose of healthy people. Although there are 40 types, the most common one is staphylococcus aureus.

    Staph generally causes no problems or illness. However, if the bacteria enters the body through a wound, cut or graze, or open skin (e.g. broken skin caused by eczema), it may cause an infection.  Staph is one of the most common causes of skin infections and can cause serious
    wound infections.

    Since the 1950s, some strains of staph have built up resistance to antibiotics. Staph aureus that is resistant to the antibiotic methicillin is called methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). People often refer to MRSA as ‘golden staph’ because the infected pus is
    yellow/gold in colour.

    Most staph infections are treated with antibiotics, and there are still some antibiotics that can successfully treat MRSA infections.

    Signs and symptoms of staph infection

    If your child has a staph infection of an existing or new wound, they may have:

    • swelling around the wound
    • a wound that fails to completely heal
    • a fever
    • redness and heat around the wound
    • yellow-coloured crusting (scabs) and weeping.

    If your child has eczema, an affected area of skin may become infected with staph.

    Staph can cause other kinds of illnesses including bone infections, impetigo (school sores), pneumonia and blood stream infections.

    Scalded skin syndrome is caused by staph and is usually seen in children under the age of two years. It can start with a lesion (sore) around the nose or mouth, which then quickly develops into a bright red area. When touched, the affected skin may peel off in sheets; antibiotic therapy is

    What causes staph infections?

    Staph is found on the skin and in the nose of 30–50 per cent of people without causing disease. It will only cause an infection when it can enter through a wound or open skin. A staph infection normally only develops in the elderly, the very sick or those who have an open wound. Healthy
    people rarely become infected.

    Staph can only be spread by skin-to-skin contact. You cannot catch it just by being in the same room as an infected person. Good hand hygiene can prevent the spread of staph.

    Treatment for staph infections

    If you think your child has a staph infection, take them to a GP, who will most likely prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection if it appears to be caused by the staph bacteria. If your child is unwell, they may be admitted to hospital for the antibiotics to be administered
    through a drip into a vein (intravenous or IV therapy).

    Recovery time will depend on the general overall health of your child. If your child has a poor immune system, then a staph infection can be quite serious. Children with lowered immunity or a serious infection would need to be admitted to hospital for intravenous antibiotics.

    If your child has recurrent staph infections, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic cream (e.g. Bactroban). This should be applied under your child’s fingernails and around their nostrils to help get rid of the staph bacteria, and reduce the chance of your child being reinfected. 

    Care at home

    Contact with your child’s wound should be avoided, and the wound may need to be covered with a dressing.

    Good hygiene is essential when caring for a child with a staph infection. Hands need to be washed with soap and water before and after contact with the child and their surroundings.  See our fact sheet Stopping the spread of germs for more information.

    A bleach bath may be recommend by a health professional. This will reduce the amount of bacteria on the skin and will help to treat the current infection. See our fact sheet
    Skin infections – bleach baths. 

    If your child is prescribed antibiotics, the full course of antibiotics should be completed. If the infection does not get better, go back to your GP.

    Key points to remember

    • Staphylococcus aureus is common and will only cause an infection when it can enter through a wound or open skin.
    • Staph can cause several different types of infections: skin/wound, gastrointestinal, pneumonia and blood stream infections.
    • Thoroughly washing your hands and avoiding skin-to-skin contact can prevent staph infections.
    • Antibiotics are usually needed to treat staph infections. The full course of antibiotics should be completed.
    • Staph infections resistant to some antibiotics are called MRSA or golden staph infections, however they can still be treated by some antibiotics.

    For more information

    Common questions our doctors are asked

    What is used to treat golden staph infections? Is the
    treatment safe for children?

    Stronger antibiotics are used for more serious staph infections. These are usually given intravenously. The doses used are carefully calculated for your child, based on their age and weight, and are safe for use in children.   

    Why do I need to complete the antibiotics if my child’s
    infection is all better?

    Not completing a full course of antibiotics may lead to the staph infection becoming resistant to the antibiotic that was prescribed to treat your child. It is important to ensure that all of the bacteria has been eradicated, which is why the course continues for many days after your child
    looks and feels better.

    Developed by The Royal Children’s Hospital Infection Control department. We acknowledge the input of RCH consumers and carers.

    Reviewed May 2018.

    Kids Health Info is supported by The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. To donate, visit


    Staphylococcal Infections – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment from Healthily

    What are staphylococcal infections?

    Staphylococcal infections are a group of infections caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus. You may have heard them referred to as staph infections.

    The spectrum of staph infections can range from a minor boil or skin abscess to life-threatening infections such as septicaemia (infection of the blood) or endocarditis (infection of the lining of the heart).

    There are many types of staphylococci, but most infections are caused by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). S. aureus is common and often found in the nose or on the skin. Most of the time the bacteria do not cause any symptoms – this is referred to as colonisation.

    Types of infection

    Staph infections are caused when bacteria get into a break or cut in the skin. Depending how deep it goes, the type of infection can be broadly classified into two groups:

    Skin infections are most common and usually cause symptoms such as boils or abscesses – painful, pus-filled lumps on the surface or just under the skin. This can lead to impetigo, which forms a crust on the skin, or cellulitis, which causes redness, swelling and pain in the skin and underlying tissue.

    In some cases an invasive infection can develop as a complication of a skin infection. The symptoms are more severe and wide-ranging and can include:

    • a high temperature (fever) of 38 degrees C (100.4 degrees F) or above
    • low blood pressure, which will cause you to feel dizzy when you stand up
    • confusion or disorientation
    • shortness of breath

    Read more about the symptoms of staphylococcal infections.

    Eating food contaminated with S. aureus bacteria will give you food poisoning. This normally develops after eating food, usually meat, that hasn’t been cooked or stored properly.

    Treating infections

    Skin infections are usually mild and can be treated using antibiotic tablets or creams.

    Invasive infections are more serious and usually treated in hospital with antibiotic injections.

    Read more about treating staphylococcal infections.

    Once the bacteria penetrate the skin and enter the blood or organs, they rapidly multiply and release toxins, which can cause other organs to stop working and a massive drop in blood pressure (toxic shock, a type of septic shock). These complications are life-threatening.

    How successful treatment is for people with invasive staph infections will depend on:

    • the person’s age
    • where the infection has spread to
    • whether the infection has caused complications
    • whether or not the person has any pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes, a weakened immune system or heart disease

    Preventing infection

    The best way to prevent a staphylococcal infection is to regularly wash your hands and make sure any cuts and grazes are kept clean.

    Read more about preventing staphylococcal infections.

    Who gets staph infections?

    Staphylococcal skin infections are common, particularly among children, teenagers and young adults. Impetigo, for example, accounts for around 1 in 10 of all reported skin conditions in children.

    Invasive staphylococcal infections are much less common. You are more at risk of developing an invasive infection if you:

    • are having dialysis – used to treat people with advanced chronic kidney disease; the way dialysis is performed can sometimes allow bacteria to get inside the body
    • have a weakened immune system due to a condition, such as HIV or taking medication to suppress your immune system (immunosuppressants)

    Read more about the causes of staphylococcal infections.

    Symptoms of staphylococcal infections

    The symptoms of staphylococcal infections vary depending on the type of infection you have.

    Staphylococcal skin infections

    Staph infections most commonly affect the skin. Symptoms for the most common types of staphylococcal skin infections are outlined below.


    A boil is a red, painful, lump on the skin that usually develops on the neck, face, armpit or buttocks. When a boil first forms, it appears as a swollen, painful red lump. As it grows, yellowish-white pus builds up at the centre of the boil.

    As tempting as it may be, it is important not to squeeze a boil because it can lead to complications.

    In most cases, the boil will eventually burst within a few weeks and the pus will drain away, leaving the skin to heal.

    Read more about the symptoms of boils.

    Skin abscess

    An abscess is a painful collection of pus that may appear as a lump under the surface of the skin or an open break in the skin.

    The abscess may get larger and more painful as the infection continues and more pus is produced.
    Staphylococcal infections can cause skin abscesses on the head and neck, limbs, underarms and torso.

    Read more about the symptoms of a skin abscess.


    A hair follicle is a small sac in the skin that a hair grows out of. If a hair follicle becomes infected with staphylococcus bacteria then itchy, white bumps filled with pus can appear.

    If the infection is deep in the skin, the infected hair follicle may develop into a boil (see above) and become more painful.


    Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial skin infection that mainly affects children. It does not affect the deeper skin layers. There are two types of impetigo:

    • non-bullous impetigo – which causes sores that quickly rupture, leaving a yellow-brown crust
    • bullous impetigo – which causes large, painless, fluid-filled blisters (bullae)

    The sores and blisters caused by both types of impetigo are usually very itchy. However, you should avoid scratching them because it can spread the infection to other parts of your body and the bacteria easily spread through close contact.

    Read more about symptoms of impetigo.


    Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the deep layer of the skin (dermis) and the layer of fat and soft tissues (the subcutaneous tissues) that lie underneath the skin.

    Cellulitis causes your skin to become:

    • red
    • painful
    • hot
    • swollen
    • tender
    • blistered

    Cellulitis can make you feel generally unwell and cause you to feel sick (nausea) or have shivers and chills.

    Read more about the symptoms of cellulitis.

    Wound infection

    Any wound has the potential to become infected, including cuts and grazes or surgical wounds.

    Symptoms include:

    • redness, swelling and pain at the site of the wound
    • a discharge of pus or liquid from the wound
    • the wound healing much slower than would usually be expected
    • an unpleasant smell coming from the site of the wound
    Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome

    Probably the most serious type of staphylococcal skin infection is staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS), which most commonly affects babies and young children under five.

    In this type of infection, the staphylococcal bacteria release a toxin (poison) that damages the skin, leading to extensive blistering which looks like the skin has been scalded by boiling water.

    Other symptoms of SSSS include:

    • painful skin
    • a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
    • large areas of skin peeling off or falling away
    • redness of the skin which usually spreads across the entire body

    Invasive staphylococcal infections

    Invasive staph infections are uncommon but potentially serious. Some of the types and their symptoms are described below.

    Septic arthritis

    Septic arthritis is a condition where a joint becomes infected with the S. aureus bacteria. Symptoms of septic arthritis include:

    • joint pain and swelling
    • red and tender skin around the joint
    • a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above

    Read more about septic arthritis.

    Septic bursitis

    In septic bursitis, the bursa becomes infected. A bursa is a small fluid-filled sac which forms under the skin, usually over the joints and between tendons and bones.

    Symptoms of septic bursitis include:

    • pain, swelling and tenderness in the affected body part which feels warm to the touch
    • a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
    • chills

    Read more about the symptoms of septic bursitis.


    Pyomyositis is an infection of the muscles used to move and support the bones of the skeleton. It is more common in tropical areas of the world.

    Symptoms of pyomyositis include:

    • a very high temperature, which can be as high as 40C (104F)
    • chills
    • pain and swelling in the affected muscles
    • the muscles feel soft and spongy to the touch due to the presence of pus

    Osteomyelitis is a bone infection. One of the larger leg bones is usually affected.

    Symptoms of osteomyelitis include:

    • a sudden high temperature
    • bone pain, which can often be severe
    • swelling, redness and warmth at the site of the infection
    • a general sense of feeling unwell
    • the affected body part is tender to touch
    • a restricted range of movement in the affected body part

    Read more about the symptoms of osteomyelitis.


    Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. Symptoms of pneumonia include:

    • difficulty breathing – your breathing may be rapid and shallow and you may feel breathless, even when you are resting
    • rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
    • a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
    • feeling generally unwell
    • pain in your chest

    Read more about the symptoms of pneumonia.

    Toxic shock syndrome

    Toxic shock syndrome is a rare condition caused when S. aureus bacteria enter the bloodstream and begin to release toxins (poisons). Most people are immune to the effects of the toxins, however in some people, the toxins can cause a drop in blood pressure and organ and tissue damage. The S. aureus can be found in a small wound, or associated with periods and using tampons.

    Symptoms of toxic shock syndrome include:

    • a sudden high temperature
    • vomiting
    • a skin rash that looks like sunburn
    • diarrhoea
    • fainting or feeling faint
    • muscle aches
    • confusion

    Read more about the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome.


    Endocarditis is an infection of the inner layer of the heart, particularly affecting the heart valves. The symptoms of endocarditis can sometimes develop gradually over many weeks or quickly over a few days.

    Symptoms of endocarditis, caused by a staphylococcal infection, include:

    • a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
    • chills and shivers
    • muscular aches and pains
    • chest pain
    • coughing
    • weakness and fatigue (extreme tiredness)
    • headache
    • shortness of breath

    Read more about the symptoms of endocarditis.


    Sepsis, also known as blood poisoning, can be due to any bacteria. The symptoms usually develop quickly and include:

    • a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
    • fast heartbeat (tachycardia)
    • fast breathing
    • low blood pressure (hypotension), which causes you to feel dizzy when you stand up
    • a change in mental behaviour, such as confusion or disorientation
    • diarrhoea
    • loss of consciousness

    Sepsis is a medical emergency. Request an ambulance if you suspect that you or someone in your care is experiencing sepsis.

    Read more about sepsis.

    Staphylococcal food poisoning

    The symptoms of staphylococcal food poisoning develop quickly after eating contaminated food (usually within 30 minutes to six hours). They include:

    • feeling sick (nausea)
    • being sick
    • stomach cramps
    • diarrhoea

    These symptoms should pass within one to three days. However, if your symptoms persist beyond this time, or if they worsen rapidly, you should contact your doctor for advice.

    Read more about the symptoms of food poisoning.

    Causes of staphylococcal infections

    There are many types of staphylococcus bacteria, but most infections are caused by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus).

    S. aureus is common in humans. It’s often found inside the nose and on the surface of the armpits and buttocks. In most cases, the bacteria do not cause any symptoms. If a person has bacteria living on their body but they do not experience any symptoms, they are said to be colonised by bacteria.

    Skin infections

    Staphylococcal (staph) bacteria can spread through the air, by person-to-person contact and they can also be picked up from contaminated surfaces.

    Once the bacteria reach the skin, they can go on to cause infection if they become heavily concentrated on the surface of the skin or if they enter the body through a break in the skin.

    Staph bacteria often enter the body through an inflamed hair follicle or oil gland. They can also enter through skin damaged by burns, cuts and scrapes, other infections or insect bites.

    PVL-producing Staphylococcus aureus

    A minority of S. aureus bacteria can produce a substance called Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), which kills the white cells, causing the body to make more white cells to continue to fight the infection.

    PVL-producing strains of bacteria are therefore more likely to cause repeated skin infections, such as boils and abscesses. They can also cause more serious conditions such as:

    • sepsis – blood poisoning caused by bacteria multiplying in the blood
    • pneumonia – swelling (inflammation) of the lungs caused by an infection

    Invasive staphylococcal infections

    In healthy people, the layers of skin and the immune system usually provide a good defence against a skin infection spreading further into the body.

    An invasive staph infection usually only develops if you:

    • have a weakened immune system due to an underlying medical condition or due to a side effect of treatment
    • use medical equipment that goes directly inside your body, and/or
    • experience severe trauma to the skin, such as a deep wound or a major burn

    Medical equipment that increases your risk of developing invasive staphylococcal infections include:

    • equipment used to perform all types of dialysis
    • urinary catheters (a tube used to empty the bladder)
    • feeding tubes
    • breathing tubes

    Food poisoning

    Staphylococcal food poisoning is usually caused by food contaminated with staphylococcal bacteria from the skin of someone who handles food.

    If the food is not cooked thoroughly, or if it’s not kept hot or cold, the bacteria will continue to reproduce when they come in contact with it. The bacteria then produce the toxin (poison) that causes food poisoning.

    It is not possible for staph food poisoning to be spread from person-to-person.

    Read more about the causes of food poisoning.

    Diagnosing staphylococcal infections

    Staphylococcal infections are diagnosed in different ways depending on your symptoms and the type of infection you have.

    Staphylococcal skin infections

    A staphylococcal skin infection is often diagnosed by examining the affected area of skin. A small piece of tissue may also be removed using a swab and tested for Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) bacteria.

    Invasive staphylococcal infections

    There are three main goals in diagnosing an invasive staphylococcal infection:

    • to confirm whether the infection has been caused by S. aureus bacteria and whether the bacteria have developed resistance to one or more antibiotics
    • to determine the source of the infection
    • to determine which other functions of the body have been affected and how badly

    To do this, a number of tests may be carried out including:

    • blood tests
    • urine tests
    • stool sample tests
    • blood pressure tests
    • a wound culture test – where a small sample of tissue, skin or fluid is taken from the affected area for testing
    • respiratory secretion testing – which involves testing a sample of saliva, phlegm or mucus
    • imaging studies, such as an X-ray or computerised tomography (CT) scan, or an echocardiogram – where sound waves are used to scan the valves and chambers of the heart
    • kidney and liver function tests
    • a lumbar puncture – where a sample of cerebrospinal fluid is removed from your back for testing

    Staphylococcal food poisoning

    Staphylococcal food poisoning can be diagnosed by taking a sample of your stools (faeces) and testing it for bacteria. However, in most food poisoning cases there is usually no need to carry out a diagnosis as it passes within a few days.

    You only need to see your doctor if:

    • your symptoms are severe and not getting better
    • you have symptoms of severe dehydration, such as sunken eyes and are unable to urinate
    • there has been an outbreak of similar cases of food poisoning linked to a possible source of contamination

    Treating staphylococcal infections

    Most staphylococcal infections are treated with antibiotics or by draining the infection. Invasive staphylococcal infections will often require hospital treatment.

    Staphylococcal skin infections

    Once your doctor has diagnosed which type of infection you have, they will usually prescribe a course of antibiotics. It’s important to finish the course of medication even if the symptoms clear up.

    Antibiotics can be used to treat the following staphylococcal infections.

    • Folliculitis – Antibiotic cream or tablets may be prescribed to treat folliculitis. Your doctor may also recommend that you avoid shaving the affected area until the infection clears.
    • Impetigo – Antibiotic cream can usually be used to treat impetigo. A seven day course of tablets may be prescribed if the condition does not respond, or if the impetigo is widespread and severe. Read more about treating impetigo.
    • Cellulitis – Cellulitis usually responds quickly to antibiotics and you should soon find your symptoms starting to ease. If your symptoms get worse 48 hours after taking the antibiotics, or you start to develop additional symptoms, such as a high temperature or vomiting, contact your doctor immediately. Read more about treating cellulitis.
    • Wound infection – Depending on the severity and the extent of your infection, antibiotic tablets or injections may be recommended. In the most severe cases, surgery may be needed to remove dead or damaged tissue from the wound.
    • Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS) – SSSS and toxic shock are usually regarded as a medical emergency because the infection can spread beyond the skin and into the body. It requires prompt treatment with antibiotic injections.
    Boils and abscesses

    Smaller boils and abscesses can often be treated at home. You can wait for them to drain naturally and then cover the wound with a sterile gauze or dressing or apply a warm facecloth to the boil for 10 minutes, three or four times a day, to speed up the healing process. Wash your hands thoroughly after touching a boil to prevent the bacteria spreading.

    Your doctor will probably need to treat larger boils and abscesses, particularly if they are soft and spongy – as this means they are unlikely to burst by themselves. Your doctor will remove the pus using a technique called incision and drainage. In some cases, your doctor may refer you to your local hospital to have this procedure.

    Incision and drainage involves piercing the tip of the boil or abscess with a sterile needle or scalpel. This encourages the pus to drain out which should help relieve pain and stimulate the healing process. Before having the procedure, you are likely to be given local anaesthetic to numb the affected area.

    As tempting as it may be, you should never attempt to squeeze or pierce the abscess or boil yourself because this can spread the infection.

    If you have had a lot of boils and abscesses, it may be because of underlying diabetes or because you are carrying an uncommon type of bacteria called PVL-producing S. aureus.

    Read more information about the causes of staphylococcal infections.

    Invasive staphylococcal infections

    Most cases of invasive staphylococcal infections need to be treated in hospital. This is because your body’s functions may need to be supported while the infection is treated.

    Invasive infections are treated with antibiotic injections. Most people will require a seven to 10 day course.

    If the strain of bacteria responsible for the infection is not resistant to antibiotics, an antibiotic called nafcillin is usually prescribed. Side effects of nafcillin are usually mild and include nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

    If the infection is caused by meticillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), an antibiotic called vancomycin is prescribed. Side effects of vancomycin are uncommon but if they occur they can be serious. They include:

    • allergic reactions, such as skin rashes, itching or hives and swelling of the face, lips or tongue
    • difficulty breathing
    • a change in the amount or colour of your urine
    • a change in hearing, such as hearing loss
    • dizziness
    • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
    • unusual bleeding, such as bleeding from the gums or nose
    • feeling unusually weak or tired

    Staphylococcal food poisoning

    Most cases of staphylococcal food poisoning can be treated at home without the need of medical attention. It’s important to make sure you do not become dehydrated because this will slow your recovery time.

    Fluid can be lost through vomiting and diarrhoea so try to sip water regularly throughout the day, particularly after passing a loose stool.

    Read more about treating food poisoning.

    Preventing staphylococcal infections

    You can help to prevent staphylococcal infections by practising good hygiene to stop germs from spreading. If you have a weakened immune system you will need to take extra precautions.

    Staphylococcal skin infections

    You can reduce your chances of developing a staphylococcal skin infection by:

    • washing your hands regularly
    • keeping your skin clean by having a bath or shower every day
    • keeping any cuts clean and covered

    If you come into contact with someone who has a staphylococcal skin infection – for example, if you touch the infected site or the pus that it produces, you should wash your hands thoroughly using warm water and soap.

    If you have a staphylococcal skin infection, remove any pus from the surface of the infected area immediately to prevent the infection from spreading to another part of your body. Clean the area with antiseptic or an antibacterial soap.

    As staphylococcal bacteria are easily passed from one person to another, any towels, washcloths and bed linen used by someone with a staphylococcal infection should not be used by anyone else. They should be changed daily until the symptoms disappear and washed separately in hot water.

    Invasive staphylococcal infections

    You will need to take extra precautions if you have an increased risk of developing a staphylococcal infection due to having a weakened immune system.

    You should:

    • not smoke or use illegal drugs because these will further weaken your immune system
    • eat a healthy diet to help strengthen your immune system
    • take regular exercise to also help strengthen your immune system
    • wash your hands regularly, particularly after going to the toilet, before and after preparing food, and after spending time in crowded places

    Staphylococcal food poisoning

    The best way to prevent staphylococcal food poisoning is to ensure food is both properly cooked and properly chilled.

    People with infected cuts should cover their wounds to ensure they do not contaminte food during preparation.

    Cooking food properly

    Make sure food is cooked right through and is piping hot in the middle. If you reheat food, make sure it is piping hot all the way through and never reheat food more than once.

    Chilling food properly

    It is important to keep certain foods at the correct temperature to prevent harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying. Always check the label on the packaging for the correct storage instructions.

    Food that needs to be chilled should always be stored in the fridge. If these foods are left standing at room temperature, bacteria can grow and multiply to dangerous levels. Set your fridge temperature to 0-5C (32-41F).

    Cooked leftovers should be cooled quickly, ideally within one to two hours, before being put in the fridge or freezer. Putting food in shallow containers and dividing it into smaller amounts will help speed up the cooling process.

    Read more about food hygiene and preventing food poisoning.

    Staph Infection: Overview and More

    Staphylococcal (staph) infection is caused when bacteria called Staphyloccocus enters the body, usually through a skin cut or wound. Staphyloccocus aureus is the most common type to infect humans, though there are more than 30 others. While staph normally lives in the nose or on the skin of some healthy individuals without consequence, infections can cause abscesses, cellulitis, or other skin concerns, and can less commonly infect the bloodstream or other organs (e.g., heart, lung, or bone).

    Clara Lopes Novo / Getty Images

    In the majority of cases, antibiotics can successfully treat staph infections. However, some cases can be resistant and even life-threatening.

    Verywell / Gary Ferster

    Staph Infection Symptoms

    The symptoms of a staph infection depend on the type of infection it is causing. Staph is most commonly associated with skin infections, such as abscesses, folliculitis, furuncle, carbuncle, impetigo, and cellulitis, to name a few.

    Symptoms such as swelling, warmth, redness, and pain or soreness within or surrounding the infected area are common. Sometimes, a fever is present and the infected skin may drain pus.

    If the staph bacteria enter the bloodstream, sepsis may develop, which is very serious and potentially fatal.

    Other serious staph infections (of which the symptoms are unique to the affected tissue or organ) include:

    Staph may also cause:

    When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention

    While symptoms of a staph infection are highly variable (based on the affected organ), these symptoms warrant emergent medical attention:

    • Severe headache, neck stiffness, and fever
    • Painful rash or rash associated with a fever
    • Rapid heart rate and/or breathing rate
    • Chest pain or trouble breathing
    • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea and/or signs of dehydration
    • Swelling or pain around a device, such as an intravenous line, pacemaker, or replacement joint


    Many different types of staph live on the human body (this is called colonization). For example, Staphylococcos aureus colonizes the noses of about 30% of healthy people and the skin of about 20% of people.

    Besides living on people, staph can live on objects, such as doorknobs or athletic equipment. A person can become colonized with staph by simply touching the skin of someone who is colonized or by touching or sharing a contaminated object (e.g., a towel or razor).

    That said, colonization is not the same as an infection. Being colonized with staph causes no symptoms. On the other hand, when staph enters the body causing an infection, symptoms do occur. The bacteria most commonly find their way through a break in the skin (e.g., a minor cut from shaving or a wound from trauma).

    While anyone can develop a staph infection, there are factors that increase a person’s risk. 

    Some of these risk factors include:

    • Being very young or very old
    • Having a chronic skin or lung disease
    • Having an open wound
    • Being on a drug that weakens your immune system (e.g., corticosteroids)
    • Using injected drugs, such as opioids
    • Being hospitalized or living in a long-term care facility, like a nursing home
    • Having diabetes mellitus or HIV
    • Having a transplanted organ or an implanted medical device (e.g., artificial heart valve, pacemaker, or joint)
    • Being on dialysis
    • Having long-term intravascular access (e.g., having a chemotherapy port)


    Diagnosis of a staph infection requires a medical history, physical exam, and often tests, like a bacterial culture or various blood tests.

    History and Physical Examination

    The history and physical examination will be tailored to your unique symptoms. For example, for a potential skin infection, your doctor will inspect the affected skin for warmth, redness, tenderness, and drainage. They will also inquire about symptoms that may indicate a more serious infection (e.g., fever or body aches), as well as potential exposures to and risk factors for staph.

    A key aspect of the physical examination is an evaluation of your vital signs—blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature—as abnormalities can indicate a serious and/or systemic (whole-body) infection of some kind.

    Culture and Other Tests

    A bacterial culture is used to definitively diagnose a skin infection caused by staph bacteria. Other tests that may be ordered to assess the severity of the infection include blood tests like a complete blood count (CBC), a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP), and a C-reactive protein level.

    Imaging tests to evaluate certain organs (e.g., an echocardiogram for endocarditis or a chest X-ray for pneumonia) may also be ordered.


    Once diagnosed with a staph infection, antibiotic therapy is the mainstay treatment.

    Antibiotics can be given topically (on the skin), orally (by mouth) or intravenously (through the vein).

    The specific antibiotic chosen depends on two main factors:

    • The severity of the infection
    • Whether the staph bacteria is resistant to any antibiotics


    Mild or moderate staph infections can generally be treated with topical or oral antibiotics.

    For example, a topical antibiotic like Bactroban (mupirocin) may be considered to treat mild cases of impetigo and folliculitis. Likewise, an oral antibiotic, such as Keflex (cephalexin), may be used to treat mastitis or nonpurulent cellulitis (cellulitis with no drainage of pus and no associated abscess).

    Intravenous antibiotics, such as Vancocin (vancomycin), which are given directly into the bloodstream, are required to treat severe staph infections, like osteomyelitis, pneumonia, and sepsis.


    While many staph infections can be treated with methicillin or a similar antibiotic, like Keflex (cephalexin), some staph bacteria are resistant to methicillin. These bacteria are called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

    To determine which antibiotics are effective against the staph, doctors can perform an antibiotic susceptibility test in a lab setting.

    Then, based on where the infection was contracted, doctors can choose to treat the MRSA infection with a certain oral or intravenous antibiotic.

    Hospital-acquired MRSA infections are usually serious and potentially life-threatening. They require treatment with an intravenous antibiotic like Vancocin (vancomycin) or Cubicin (daptomycin). Once discharged from the hospital, patients often go home with oral antibiotics or intravenous antibiotics administered through a PICC line.

    Community-acquired MRSA infections tend to not be as serious or fatal. They can often be treated with oral antibiotics, like Bactrim (trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole) or Cleocin (clindamycin).

    Other Therapies

    It’s important to keep in mind that the treatment of staph infections may involve additional therapies along with antibiotics.

    For example, an abscess usually requires incision and drainage (where the pus is removed). Similarly, an infected joint (septic arthritis) usually involves drainage of the joint space, in addition to antibiotic therapy.

    For an infected bone or prosthetic joint, surgical debridement is required along with antibiotics.

    Surgical decompression, along with antibiotics, is used to treat staph epidural abscesses.


    Good hand and personal hygiene are at the crux of preventing staph infections. This means thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water, avoiding sharing personal items with others, and covering any wounds with a bandage until they are healed.

    For patients in the hospital with MRSA infections, isolation precautions—such as wearing disposable gowns and gloves—help prevent the spread of infection to the staff and other patients. Disposable equipment, such as disposable stethoscopes, are also commonly used.

    A Words From Verywell

    The bottom line here is that while usually a harmless germ, Staphylococcus aureus can lead to serious infections. To be proactive, wash your hands thoroughly and frequently and seek medical attention right away for any signs of infection, such as skin redness or warmth, drainage, fever, chills, body aches, or other unusual symptoms.

    90,000 Antibiotic therapy for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in surgical wounds

    Some people develop wound infections after surgery. They are usually caused by bacteria. Most of these wound infections heal naturally or after treatment with conventional antibiotics. However, some bacteria are resistant to common antibiotics, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). MRSA infections after surgery are rare, but can develop in wounds (surgical site infections, or SSIs), in the chest, or in the bloodstream (bacteremia).SSIs caused by MRSA occur in 1–33% of people who have undergone surgery, depending on the type of surgery; they can be life-threatening and can increase the length of hospital stay.

    We do not know which antibiotic therapy is best for a person with MRSA-induced SSI. We aimed to resolve this uncertainty by conducting a thorough search of the medical literature to find studies that compared different antibiotic therapies for MRSA-induced SSI.We only included randomized controlled trials because, when done properly, they provide better information. We did not limit our search for clinical trials by language or year of publication. Two review authors independently identified clinical trials and extracted information.

    We found only one clinical trial comparing different antibiotic therapies for MRSA-induced SSIs. This trial involved 59 people who were hospitalized for developing SSIs caused by MRSA.Thirty participants in this clinical trial received an antibiotic called linezolid, which can be taken as a pill or injected into a vein (intravenously). The rest of the participants received another antibiotic called vancomycin, which can only be given intravenously. The type (s) of surgical procedures the participants underwent were not specified. MRSA eradication occurred in more people who received linezolid compared to those who received vancomycin. It would be helpful if these conclusions were corroborated by other studies.This clinical trial did not report other characteristics of MRSA eradication with these antibiotics, such as:

    1. Whether the wound healed quickly;
    2. length of hospital stay;
    3. quality of life and
    4. whether the benefits of treatment outweigh any unwanted side effects of the medication.

    Overall, the quality of the available evidence was low. At this time, we cannot recommend any specific antibiotic for the treatment of SSIs caused by MRSA. In the low quality evidence from this one small study, linezolid appears to be better than vancomycin for eradicating MRSA in SSI, but the more complete [serious] effects of this treatment are not known.

    Further well-designed randomized clinical trials are needed to identify the best antibiotic therapy for MRSA-induced SSI.

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) – Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

    Methicillin-resistant staphylococci (MRSA) are an important cause of infection both in healthy people in community settings and in patients of medical institutions.

    It is important to distinguish MRSA colony formation from infection.

    MRSA-related health care-related infections and community-acquired MRSA infections have significant differences in antibiotic susceptibility.

    Community-acquired MRSA is the most common cause of skin and soft tissue infections, and therapy is more likely to be done with oral antibiotics.

    Health care-related MRSA infections generally require treatment with intravenous antibiotics.

    Isolating patients with MRSA using contact precautions can help prevent the spread of infection.

    MRSA is a type of Staphylococcus aureus that is resistant to most beta-lactam antibiotics, antistaphylococcal penicillins (eg methicillin, oxacillin) and cephalosporins. Methicillin resistance is defined as a minimum inhibitory concentration of oxacillin ≥4 μg / ml [1] Babel BS, Decker CF. Microbiology and laboratory diagnosis of MRSA.Dis Mon. 2008 Dec; 54 (12): 769-73.
    Oxacillin belongs to the same class of antibiotics as methicillin and was therefore the agent of choice for S. aureus susceptibility testing in the early 1990s. Methicillin is still used today to describe resistance due to its historical role. [2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Laboratory detection of oxacillin / methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.November 2010 [internet publication].
    MRSA infections can include bacteremia, pneumonia, endocarditis, joint and skin infections, or soft tissue infections.

    when to take, how to prepare, timing and cost

    Staphylococcus is a genus of bacteria that can cause various diseases. For example, a cold or persistent inflammation on the skin may be the result of the activity of Staphylococcus aureus, a dangerous and fairly common member of the Staphylococcaceae family.What is the threat of infection with staphylococcus, what tests can be done to detect bacteria and when is it necessary to take a sample for a microorganism? The answers to these questions, as well as advice on choosing a clinic for research, are in the article.

    Types of tests for the detection of staphylococci

    Staphylococcal bacteria have a spherical shape, they are classified as gram-positive. There are about 30 species in total [1]. Some representatives of the genus are present in the body, on the mucous membranes and human skin, without causing harm.But golden, saprophytic, hemolytic and epidermal staphylococci, under certain conditions, can cause serious harm to health. In some cases, bacteria cause inflammation [2]. The action of dangerous representatives of staphylococci is to damage the body with toxins that they produce in the process of life, as well as to reduce immunity.

    Saprophytic staphylococcus is localized mainly in the urinary and genital organs, is more common in women than in men, and can cause cystitis. Epidermal staphylococcus lives on the surface of our skin, but if it enters the bloodstream when the integument is damaged, then with a weakened immunity it can cause it to become infected. Hemolytic staphylococcus more often affects the upper respiratory tract, causing purulent sore throat, pharyngitis, bronchitis and other diseases [3].

    The most common – causes more than 60% of staphylococcal infections – Staphylococcus aureus [4] , it can harm absolutely any organs.It equally easily affects women and men, the elderly and children. It mainly causes purulent processes on the skin or in internal organs (such as the brain, heart and others), and can also cause food poisoning, pneumonia, meningitis and other diseases. At the same time, Staphylococcus aureus is difficult enough to defeat, it is not afraid of high temperatures, is resistant to many antibiotics and antiseptics [5]. Despite the fact that the bacterium has been studied for a long time and in some detail, there is still no one hundred percent effective treatment.How is staphylococcus spread?

    Staphylococcus aureus can be infected by airborne droplets, through indirect contact (dust, surfaces of things, clothing), through blood, non-sterile medical instruments. The pathological activity of staphylococci can be provoked by severe hypothermia of the body, the constant use of nicotine and alcohol, permanent stress and lack of sleep.

    By the way

    You can catch Staphylococcus aureus by eating an expired product.This is especially true for dairy and fermented milk products: cottage cheese, kefir, yogurt and even UHT milk. It is necessary to check the expiration date and throw away the expired product, even if it does not have an unpleasant odor and its taste has not changed.

    Since staphylococcus aureus can be localized in almost any part of the body, only a qualified doctor is able to decide what kind of biomaterial is needed to confirm or deny the presence of the bacteria. For analysis for staphylococcus, a swab is most often taken from the nose, pharynx, or other mucous membranes.Also donate blood, urine or feces, breast milk [6].

    Pathological activity of staphylococci is not asymptomatic. There are a number of signs that could indicate an infection. If these appear, you must immediately consult a doctor.

    When to take tests to detect staphylococcal infection

    If a person notices rashes on the skin (especially pustular), frequent and seemingly unreasonable inflammation of the sebaceous or sweat glands, hair follicles – this is a reason to consult a specialist.A persistent runny nose that cannot be cured in any way, eternal nasal congestion or abundant discharge may also indicate the activity of staphylococci. Sore throat, dry or wet cough, fever – these “cold” symptoms can be caused by staphylococcus aureus. The probability, of course, is small, but it will not be superfluous to pass the analysis.

    There are people who get infected with these bacteria more easily. So, at risk are those suffering from cancer, diabetes mellitus or HIV, patients on hemodialysis.People with skin injuries (cuts, burns), healthcare workers, or agricultural workers are also more likely to get an infection. Elderly and newborns, breastfeeding mothers and immunocompromised people are also among those who are at increased risk of contracting staphylococcus aureus.

    Analysis for staphylococcus is taken not only when symptoms appear. It can be prescribed to pregnant women to reduce the likelihood of transmission of staphylococcus from mother to child during pregnancy and / or childbirth, hospitalized patients for prevention, catering and medical personnel.A referral for analysis can be given by a therapist or pediatrician, ENT, infectious disease specialist, urologist, mammologist, dermatologist and even a gastroenterologist. If a person received such a referral, he needs to fulfill a number of prescriptions that affect the degree of reliability of the result.

    How to prepare for a test for Staphylococcus aureus

    Do not take antibiotics for two months before testing for Staphylococcus aureus. If the patient was undergoing treatment with antibacterial drugs, he needs to inform the doctor about this [7].Samples are taken on an empty stomach, usually in the morning. It is best to refrain from smoking for several hours before visiting the laboratory.

    A patient taking sputum from the nose or throat for analysis should drink plenty of fluids 10-12 hours before the sample. This will make the discharge less dense and make it easier for the doctor to pick up the material. Eight hours before the analysis, you can not eat, drink, brush your teeth, so usually the study is prescribed in the morning.

    Two days before the delivery of urine, the patient needs to stop taking diuretics, and three days before the delivery of feces – to give up laxatives or other drugs that affect the bowel (including suppositories and ointments) [8].If a smear is taken from the genitals, then men are advised not to go to the toilet three hours before the procedure, and women should come for an analysis before menstruation or two days after it ends.

    How to correctly submit a biomaterial for analysis

    If a patient collects a biomaterial on his own, he is responsible for the correctness of the procedure. It must be remembered that stool or urine must be collected in a sterile container, which can be purchased at any pharmacy or obtained from a private laboratory.

    The collection of material in a medical institution is as follows. A swab from the nasal mucosa and oropharynx is taken with a small cotton swab – the procedure is absolutely painless. Then the doctor places the sample in a special nutrient medium, where bacteria, if any, will multiply rapidly.

    The collection of secretions from a wound or any other affected area is also performed using a cotton swab – a small amount of biomaterial is enough for the doctor. Whether this manipulation will be painful depends on the nature of the damage, but, as a rule, the pain is tolerable.

    Results of the analysis for staphylococcus

    You can get the result of a blood test after a day, feces or urine – a little later. In the latter case, the terms depend on the characteristics of the work of the medical institution, usually the study takes from one and a half to three days.

    If the result is negative, then there are no Staphylococcus aureus bacteria in the study area. If the result is positive, this means that the person is either sick or is a carrier of the infection.As prescribed by a doctor, it is necessary to undergo a course of treatment.

    A person who does not have medical knowledge cannot independently determine the fact of infection with a staphylococcal infection. No symptoms can unambiguously indicate the presence of bacteria in the body. Therefore, with frequent diseases of the respiratory tract, in the case of periodic poisoning, recurrent skin infections, it is worth contacting a specialist and being tested for Staphylococcus aureus. Prompt receipt of the result and timely treatment can save the patient from many complications, some of which sometimes spill over into chronic diseases.

    All information related to health and medicine is presented for informational purposes only and is not a reason for self-diagnosis or self-medication.

    Streptococcal infection: Causes of streptococcal infection, Symptoms, Treatment of diseases caused by streptococcal infection

    Streptococcus is a genus of bacterial organisms that is present in the human body. There are more than 15 subtypes of bacteria, but the most common are alpha, beta, and gamma.With a permissible value of alpha and gamma, streptococci are part of the normal microflora of the gastrointestinal tract, mouth, larynx and respiratory system of a person, they do not harm the body. Beta streptococci are dangerous to human health, and they cause a wide range of human diseases.

    Hemolytic streptococcus (group A) is a common type of bacteria that is present in the body. The predominant number of infections develops precisely due to group A streptococcus.In this regard, a person has a high susceptibility to streptococcus and, accordingly, under favorable conditions for the bacteria, it actively multiplies in the human body. Group A bacteria most often cause:

    • sore throat;
    • pharyngitis;
    • impetigo;
    • face;
    • scarlet fever;
    • pneumonia;
    • glomerulonephritis;
    • vasculitis;
    • rheumatism;
    • bronchitis;
    • periodontitis.

    Group B streptococcus mainly affects the genitourinary system, since this type of bacteria is found in the urethra in men and in the vagina in women.

    Causes of streptococcal infection

    Pathogenic bacteria are transmitted in three ways:

    • airborne – spread of infection with saliva and mucus when sneezing, screaming, coughing;
    • contact-household – direct contact with the carrier of the infection, even if he does not show symptoms of disease, contact with household items in the house and public places;
    • sexual intercourse – through unprotected intercourse.

    The fastest way of spreading streptococcus is airborne droplets, so children in a large group (school, kindergarten, in various classes) very often succumb to infection.

    Streptococcal infection in children develops most often in the cold season (late autumn, winter). Due to the fact that children do not always practice good hand hygiene, they can become infected in almost any environment.

    Streptococcal infection is common in newborns, this is due to the ability of streptococcus to penetrate into tissues and organs.At the time of delivery, infection can occur through the amniotic fluid. The infection develops in the first few hours of life and leads to pneumonia, sepsis, meningitis. The mortality rate for this development of infection is more than 50%.

    In children aged 2 to 8 years, streptococcus often causes pneumonia as a complication of a previous infection: whooping cough, influenza, measles, chickenpox. Children with weakened immunity who have suffered severe hypothermia are also susceptible to this disease.


    In medical practice for diseases, streptococcal infection manifests itself in a variety of symptoms.It depends on the specific disease caused by this type of pathogenic bacteria.

    For the group of respiratory diseases it is:

    • sore throat;
    • temperature rise;
    • formation of plaque with pus on the tonsils;
    • enlarged lymph nodes.

    Streptococcal skin infection is usually accompanied by: inflammatory processes on the skin;

    • itching;
    • redness;
    • the appearance of bubbles, plaques on the skin;
    • increase in temperature;
    • chills;
    • weakness.

    Diseases of the genitourinary system caused by hemolytic streptococcus are most often asymptomatic. However, symptoms similar to those of diseases in this area can also be observed:

    • itching;
    • discharge;
    • soreness in the organs of the genitourinary system.


    To identify the bacteria of the genus streptococcus, a number of studies are being carried out that make it possible to determine the specific causative agent of the infection, its type and sensitivity to medications.Traditionally, doctors (whose specialty depends on the affected area or organ) carry out complex diagnostics:

    • bacteriological examination (seeding of biological material) – a smear from the tonsils, foci on the skin, examination of sputum on the lungs;
    • general analysis of urine, blood;
    • microbiological study for the level of sensitivity to antibiotics;
    • examination of the affected organs by a narrow specialist.

    Treatment of diseases caused by streptococcal infection

    Treatment of streptococcal infection requires initially correct diagnosis of the underlying disease, its differentiation from similar diseases.

    When a pathogenic bacterium streptococcus is diagnosed, treatment should be carried out by a narrow specialist depending on the affected organ: a pulmonologist, dermatologist, gynecologist, urologist, etc.

    Streptococcus on the skin is treated mainly at home under the supervision of a doctor. In milder forms of the disease, such as impetigo (blister-purulent rash), treatment with external agents is used: antibacterial and disinfecting ointments. In a severe course of the disease, the doctor prescribes antibiotics, multivitamins, immunostimulants to the patient, in addition, disinfectants are applied to the wounds.

    Infection of the airways requires treatment for specific diseases caused by the bacteria. A strep throat infection most often leads to the development of tonsillitis and pharyngitis, which are treated with antibiotics. The patient should drink plenty of fluids (about 3 liters) to remove toxins from the body. The patient should follow a light diet rich in vitamins.

    On our website you can find reference information on medicines (instructions, analogs), as well as book medicines, which will save you a lot of time.

    Scientists have found a way to deal with Staphylococcus aureus


    Serious infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) are often difficult to treat because the pathogens are resistant to antimicrobial drugs. But scientists at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have found a way to fix the situation: they figured out how to make these dangerous bacteria more susceptible to the effects of common antibiotics.

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    In an article published in the scientific journal Cell Chemical Biology , American researchers talked about their recent discovery. They found that molecules from the polysaccharide family – rhamnolipids – can potentiate the action of aminoglycoside antibiotics such as tobramycin against S. aureus by a factor of hundreds, including hardy strains that cannot be overcome otherwise. According to scientists, rhamnolipids modify the cell membranes of Staphylococcus aureus, making them more flexible and malleable, which makes it easier for the antibiotic to penetrate them.

    “There is a great need for new — more effective — methods of fighting bacteria that will tolerate or develop resistance to standard antibiotics,” said study lead author Brian Conlon, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. “In pursuit of such methods, we found that altering the permeability of bacterial cell membranes to better absorb aminoglycoside by them is an extremely effective strategy in the fight against Staphylococcus aureus.”

    S. aureus is considered the most dangerous of all common staphylococci. It can cause a wide range of diseases, from mild skin infections to life-threatening conditions such as pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis. This type of bacteria is one of the five most common causes of nosocomial infections, often causing postoperative wound infections. About 30% of the world’s population are permanent carriers of Staphylococcus aureus, which can live on the skin and mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract.

    According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, S. aureus caused nearly 120,000 cases of serious bloodstream infections in the United States in 2017, of which 20,000 were fatal.

    Standard control methods for most strains of Staphylococcus aureus are ineffective, either because bacteria are genetically resistant to certain antibiotics, or because they grow in the body in a special way that makes them less vulnerable in the first place.For example, S. aureus is able to adapt its metabolism to survive in areas of low oxygen – in tissues with purulent inflammation or mucus-filled lungs in people with cystic fibrosis. In such environments, the bacterial membrane becomes relatively impermeable to aminoglycoside antibiotics such as tobramycin.

    Brian Colnon and colleagues, including first study author Lauren Radlinski, discovered two years ago that rhamnolipids significantly potentiate the action of tobramycin against standard test strains of Staphylococcus aureus.These polysaccharides are small molecules produced by bacteria of the species Pseudomonas aeruginosa , known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and serve as their natural weapon against other microorganisms in the wild. In high doses, they perforate the cell membranes of enemy bacteria.

    Then scientists found out that rhamnolipids significantly increase the absorption of tobramycin molecules, even in low doses, in which they do not have their own antibacterial effect.In a new study, they tested a combination of rhamnolipid and tobramycin against populations of S. aureus that cannot be dealt with in routine clinical practice. Scientists have found that polysaccharides enhance the effect of tobramycin against:

    • bacteria S. aureus growing in areas with low oxygen content;
    • methicillin-resistant S. aureus , which is a family of dangerous species of Staphylococcus aureus with genetically acquired drug resistance;
    • tobramycin-resistant strains S.aureus, isolated from patients with cystic fibrosis;
    • resistant forms S. aureus , which usually have a reduced susceptibility to antibiotics because they grow very slowly.

    “Dobramycin doses, which usually have little or no effect on these populations of S. aureus , kill them quickly when combined with rhamnolipids,” says Dr. Radlinski.

    Scientists have found that even at low doses, rhamnolipids are able to alter the membrane of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, making it much more permeable to aminoglycoside antibiotics.Each of the drugs in this family that they tested, including tobramycin, gentamicin, amikacin, neomycin, and kanamycin, showed increased efficacy. Moreover, experiments have shown that this strategy of enhancing their action works not only with S. aureus, but also with several other species of bacteria, including Clostridium difficile , which is the main cause of serious, often fatal diarrheal diseases among the elderly and patients in hospitals.

    Rhamnolipids are of different types, and now scientists hope to find out whether there is an optimal type among them that will most effectively fight other bacteria, being little or completely non-toxic to human cells. The team also plans to study other types of molecules that are natural weapons of some bacteria against others, in order to find new ways to increase the effectiveness of existing antibiotics.

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    “There are many types of bacterial interspecies interactions that can potentially affect the effect of our antibiotics,” says Dr. Radlinski.“We are looking for them with the sole purpose of increasing the effectiveness of modern drugs and slowing the growth of antibiotic resistance.”

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    (55 votes, average: 3.6 out of 5) 90,000 Meningococcal infections: symptoms, causes, vaccination

    Meningococcal infection – an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis .There are 12 serogroups (varieties) of this bacterium, of which 6 (A, B, C, W, Y and X) cause most severe forms of meningococcal infection. The peculiarity of the infection is that meningococcus, like Haemophilus influenzae type b and pneumococci, has a polysaccharide capsule that surrounds the bacterium and protects it from attacks by the immune system. Small children (between the ages of 0 and 5 years), as a rule, do not yet have a formed protective immunity against this infection. (1)

    Reasons and sources.Incubation period

    The causative agent of meningococcal disease is transmitted only from person to person. The infection spreads by airborne droplets and enters the body through the nasal, oral and pharyngeal mucosa. The smallest drops of secretions from the respiratory tract, mouth or nasopharynx of the wearer or a sick person, with close contact – kissing, sneezing, coughing, – fall on the mucous membrane of a healthy person. There bacteria can remain for a while and multiply without causing signs of illness and without affecting the state of health, causing asymptomatic carriage (sometimes there are symptoms of a runny nose [nasopharyngitis]).It is estimated that at any given time, about 10-20% of the population are carriers of meningococci. But sometimes, for reasons not entirely clear, suppressing the body’s defenses, the infection penetrates through the mucous membrane into the bloodstream. Using nutrients in the blood, meningococci can multiply rapidly, causing blood poisoning (sepsis), and spread through the blood to the lining of the brain or other internal organs (for example, lungs, joints, heart, subcutaneous fat, etc.)). (12)

    The time between the moment the bacteria enters the body and before the first signs of the disease appear is the incubation period . For meningococcal infection, it is is on average 4 days, but it can vary from 2 to 10 days. (2)

    Forms of the disease

    The forms of the disease mean the nature of the disease, how it proceeds, what organs and systems it affects. In cases of meningococcal infection, the following forms exist:

    1. Localized forms.They develop if the body’s defenses cope with the infection, and it does not enter the bloodstream.

      • Asymptomatic carriage: the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis remains on the mucous membrane, multiplies and is periodically excreted into the external environment. The person himself is not sick, but is contagious to others.

      • Acute nasopharyngitis: inflammation is limited to the nasal mucosa, nasopharynx.

    2. Generalized forms – meningitis , meningoencephalitis, sepsis (blood poisoning). Develops if pathogen overcomes the local immune defense on the mucous membranes of the nasopharynx and enters the bloodstream. With the blood stream, bacteria spread throughout the body, penetrate the skin, kidneys, adrenal glands, lungs, heart tissue, and the lining of the brain. Reproduction and death of meningococci leads to the release of endotoxin – a poisonous product of the decay of bacteria.It destroys the walls of blood vessels, which causes hemorrhages, which at first look like a rash ( exanthema ) – reddish dots on the skin or enanthema – as well as rashes on the mucous membranes of the oral cavity, nasopharynx, sometimes eyes, and then take a typical type of hemorrhagic (from dark red to black) rash ranging in size from dots to extensive necrosis (death) of skin areas. The same bacterial toxin leads to the development of cerebral edema and cerebral st-symptoms, hemorrhages in internal organs.

    3. Mixed (a combination, for example, meningitis and sepsis) and rare forms: the development of inflammation in the joints – polyarthritis, in the lungs – pneumonia, etc. (1) (2) (3)

    Symptoms of meningococcal infection

    Carriage. It proceeds without complaints, lasts on average 10-15 days, the causative agent is detected only during laboratory examination.

    Acute nasopharyngitis. Symptoms of acute meningococcal nasopharyngitis may resemble acute respiratory viral infections – fever, weakness, headache, drowsiness, mucus and slight nasal congestion. May result in recovery, transition to a carrier or become the cause of the development of meningitis and other severe forms of meningococcal infection. In any case, even with minimal suspicion or risk of infection with meningococcus, you need to call a doctor, since it is impossible to independently determine whether it is meningococcal nasopharyngitis or another infection: an examination and laboratory tests are necessary.

    Meningococcemia (sepsis, blood poisoning). It develops rapidly, often against the background of nasopharyngitis. The temperature can rise sharply, with muscle aches, severe headache, clouding of consciousness. Within 1-2 days, a typical rash appears with meningococcal infection – first pinkish, then hemorrhagic: uneven rashes, dark red, slightly rising above the skin. As a rule, the rash is localized on the buttocks, legs, lower body.Elements of rash are very different, from “pin prick” and red-brown “stars” to large hemorrhages, which in severe cases lead to tissue death – necrosis. Early onset of rash on the face is considered an unfavorable sign . (1)

    Meningitis . According to a source (1) in Russia, “50% of all bacterial meningitis in children under 5 years of age” is caused by meningococcus. Meningococcal bacterial meningitis begins acutely, the temperature can quickly rise to high numbers, at the same time complaints of pain in the back, neck, sharp headache with intolerance to light and sounds may appear.Vomiting is repeated many times, it does not bring relief. Consciousness is confused, the person shrinks into a ball: he lies on his side, with his legs pulled up to his stomach, a typical description of this sign is “the pose of a cop dog”. The general condition is usually severe or very severe.

    They can quickly – sometimes on the first day, but more often 2-3 days after the onset of signs of the disease – symptoms that indicate that the infectious-inflammatory process has affected the lining of the brain, caused their irritation.Such symptoms are called meningeal, they include: rigidity of the occipital muscles (it is impossible to press the chin to the chest), Kernig’s symptoms (the doctor cannot straighten the patient’s leg at the knee), Brudzinsky (simultaneously bending the head and pulling the legs to the stomach) and others. A typical rash may appear. (13)

    Meningeal symptoms may indicate the severity of the disease, but it should not be determined independently, without a doctor: a comprehensive check and experience in assessing symptoms is needed.

    Meningoencephalitis. Inflammation affects the meninges, the brain, and sometimes the spinal cord. Signs are similar to those of meningitis, and a rash also develops. With meningoencephalitis, hemorrhagic exanthema and enanthema may appear. Exanthema is a variety of skin rashes that can occur with a variety of infections, allergies, this is a general description of rashes. Enanthema is a rash of a different nature that appears on the mucous membranes.At the very onset of meningoencephalitis, it can be difficult to determine the type of rash. It may begin as roseola – a small, 1 to 10 mm in diameter, rounded redness that brightens when pressed or disappears when pressed. Then it can turn into a hemorrhagic rash in the form of dots, spots, stars of different sizes, which do not disappear when pressed on them. (13)

    Meningococcal sepsis (meningococcemia) – a severe form of the disease. The condition of the patients is very serious: severe headache, vomiting, the temperature can be either very high – 41 ° C, or be below 36.6 ° C.This is due to a very rapid disruption of the work of blood vessels, a drop in blood pressure. A maculopapule appears quickly, knowing the rash : spreading over the skin and mucous membranes, it often merges to form blisters with bloody contents. The mortality rate for this form is very high – up to 60%. (13)

    Diagnosis of meningococcal infection

    An accurate diagnosis can be made only after a laboratory study: if the doctor suspects a meningococcal infection, then he prescribes a blood test, cerebrospinal fluid, mucous membranes and rashes.

    According to the source (1), even with timely and correct diagnosis, correctly prescribed treatment, “the risk of death is high. In 10-20% of people who survive, bacterial meningitis can cause brain damage, hearing loss, or learning difficulties. In severe cases, gangrene of the fingers, feet, ears is possible. ” Therefore, if at least one of the symptoms develops, which resembles the symptoms of meningococcal infection, sepsis and any other forms according to description , it is recommended to call an ambulance.

    A preliminary diagnosis, and then its clarification, is possible only after a clinical examination, with the obligatory collection of cerebrospinal fluid – cerebrospinal fluid, as well as smears from the surface of the nasopharyngeal mucosa, rash. According to reference (1), “meningococcal disease is potentially fatal and should always be treated as a medical emergency. The patient must be admitted to the hospital. ”


    Treatment depends on the form of the disease.Hospitalization is required for any form, but if antibiotics, vitamin and mineral preparations can be prescribed when an asymptomatic carriage of meningococcal infection and nasopharyngitis is detected, then other forms of the disease require emergency intervention and intensive treatment . (13)

    Depending on the form of the disease, the characteristics of the course, the age of the patient and other reasons, antibiotics may be prescribed, their combination, dose adjustment may be required.You may also need drugs to lower the temperature, relieve seizures, improve blood circulation and for detoxification, maintain the cardiovascular system, the brain, and reduce the risk of possible complications. Other measures may be required to maintain vital functions, up to ventilation of the lungs. For the treatment to be as effective as possible, “it is important to identify the serogroup of the meningococcus and to test the microorganism for antibiotic susceptibility.”(3)

    Risk groups

    The infection caused by meningococcus is equally dangerous for all people except those who have received the vaccine against meningococcal infection. According to the WHO (2), 10-20% of the population at any time are considered asymptomatic carriers of the meningococcal bacterium N. meningitidis . There are the following groups of increased risk for the development of meningococcal infection (1) (2) (3):

    1. Younger and preschool children.In the absence of vaccination, protective immunity against meningococci in children under 5 years of age, as a rule, has not yet been formed. It also matters that children often take toys and environmental objects into their mouths, share food with each other, and drink from a common dish. This increases the risk of transmission if the community has child or an asymptomatic adult carrier meningococcus without signs of disease .

    2. Teenagers and young people with a lot of social contacts, living and communicating in crowded conditions (parties, discos, hostels, barracks).As noted above, about 10-20% of people are considered possible asymptomatic carriers of meningococcal disease. The more and more intense the contacts, the higher the risk of infection.

    3. For the same reason, recruits and recruits are at risk.

    4. Persons who have undergone spleen removal, with HIV infection, with some genetic disorders. These are people with immunodeficiency – a reduced ability of the body to resist infections.

    5. Individuals with cochlear implants. With hearing impairment and wearing a cochlear implant, damage to the internal structures of the ear and a decrease in local immunity may occur, which may pose a certain risk of infection.

    6. Travelers to high-incidence areas, countries of the so-called “meningitis belt” in Africa, as well as to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj.A long dry period, wind, dust from dried up soil, cold nights, the prevalence of upper respiratory tract infections reduce the protective capabilities of the nasopharyngeal mucosa. Low indicators of socio-economic development (except for the UAE and Saudi Arabia), overcrowding, displacement of a large number of the population due to the traditional nomadic lifestyle, and in Saudi Arabia due to pilgrimage, increase the risk that a large number of people, among whom there may be asymptomatic carriers of meningococcal infection, and patients, which can lead to outbreaks of infection.


    The short incubation period , the complexity of early diagnosis, the rapid development of symptoms, the prevalence of carriage, the characteristics of childhood immunity, a high mortality and disability rate, as well as the high prevalence of infection in some countries of the world require preventive measures in children and individual adults from risk groups.

    In case of outbreaks of meningococcal infection (limited or during epidemics), the so-called measures in the outbreak can be carried out by medical workers.These include the establishment of quarantine, identification and isolation of carriers, compliance with the sanitary and epidemiological regime, and other measures. (3)

    The most effective measure is active immunization, that is, prophylactic vaccination. In Russia, it is included in the Calendar of Preventive Vaccinations for Epidemic Indications (4). It states that “children and adults in foci of meningococcal infection caused by meningococcal serogroups A or C are subject to vaccination. Vaccination is carried out in endemic regions, as well as in the case of an epidemic caused by meningococcal serogroups A or C”.Persons subject to military conscription are also subject to vaccinations. (4)

    The list of vaccines that can be used in Russia for vaccination against meningococcal infection includes:

    1. Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccines:

      • monovalent (against serogroup A) – dry polysaccharide;

      • tetravalent (against serogroups A, C, Y and W).

    2. Meningococcal conjugate vaccines:

      • monovalent (against serogroup C).

      • tetravalent (against serogroups A, C, Y and W). (5) (6)

    According to the position of the World Health Organization, “conjugated vaccines are preferable to polysaccharide vaccines because they can form population immunity, and also have a higher immunogenicity, especially in children under 2 years of age.”(7)

    Show sources


    1. Meningococcal infection. [Electronic resource]. URL: http://www.yaprivit.ru/diseases/meningokokkovaya-infekciya (as of 04.07.2017)
    2. World Health Organization. Meningococcal meningitis. Newsletter No. 141, November 2015 URL: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs141/ru (accessed 04.07.2017)
    3. Berezhnova I.A. Infectious diseases. – Textbook / I.A. Berezhnova – M .: RIOR. – 2007 .– 319 p.
    4. Order of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation of March 21, 2014 No. 125n “On the approval of the national calendar of preventive vaccinations and the calendar of preventive vaccinations for epidemic indications” (with amendments and additions). URL: https://normativ.kontur.ru/document?moduleId=1&documentId=282161 (as of 04.07.2017)
    5. Abramtseva M.V., Tarasov A.P., Nemirovskaya T.I. Meningococcal infection. Conjugated polysaccharide meningococcal vaccines and new generation vaccines / Biopreparations. Prevention, diagnosis, treatment. – 2016 – volume 16, No. 1 (57) – P. 42.
    6. State Register of Medicines of the Russian Federation. URL: http://grls.rosminzdrav.ru (as of 04.07.2017)
    7. World Health Organization. Meningococcal vaccines: WHO position paper, November 2011. Wkly Epidemiol Rec 2011; 86: 521-539.URL: http://www.who.int/wer/2011/wer8647.pdf (accessed 04.07.2017)


    Antibiotics against staphylococcus aureus and a group of drugs by type of infection

    Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that can be dangerous with a significant increase in its amount in the human body. Treatment for adults and children is selected based on the severity of the infection, its location and concomitant diseases.

    When is the use of antibiotics necessary

    Staphylococcus aureus can be diagnosed in each of us. But this does not mean that it is immediately necessary to look for antibiotics that completely kill the bacteria.

    Newborn children under one year old have a natural immunity to Staphylococcus aureus, but with the development of dysbiosis, the defenses are weakened.

    Doctors select antibiotic therapy when Staphylococcus aureus is detected, if:

    • the infection is accompanied by severe symptoms;
    • the patient is diagnosed with immunodeficiency;
    • foci of infection are located in close proximity to the brain, for example, boils on the face;
    • patient underwent organ transplantation.

    The need to use antibiotics in the activation of Staphylococcus aureus is indicated by an increased body temperature, intestinal upset with diarrhea, ulcerative lesions of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, enlarged lymph nodes, fever.

    Antibiotic selection rules

    Antibiotics that kill Staphylococcus aureus are selected after determining the sensitivity of Staphylococcus aureus to them. For this, a smear is first taken from the patient – from the throat, nose, from the surface of the skin with pustular lesions.

    It is possible to sow bacteria in cerebrospinal fluid, in sputum, urine, semen.

    The type of smear is assigned based on the localization of the infectious process. The culture result is a list that contains the names of modern antibiotics and opposite each of them a designation in the form of a letter.

    Antibiotic susceptibility letter Transcript
    S Good sensitivity
    I Moderate sensitivity
    R Resistance (resistance)

    Having received the tests, the doctor chooses the antibacterial agent from the S groups, which the patient has not used for several years before the intended treatment.As a last resort, the doctor chooses to use drugs that are moderately sensitive to bacteria.


    In most cases, one antibiotic is used. It is prescribed in a course of 5 to 10 days. After treatment, you need to re-take tests to make sure that the bacterium has passed from pathogenic to opportunistic. The most effective antibiotics in terms of therapeutic effect are described below.


    Contains amoxicillin and clavulanic acid.Available in tablets and powder for suspension for internal use. It is used mainly for infection with staphylococcus aureus of the upper respiratory tract. Appointed as a course from 5 to 14 days.

    Amoxiclav stops the growth of bacteria. With a significant increase in the number of staphylococcus and severe symptoms of infection, doctors often prescribe the drug in combination with other antibiotics.


    The drug is produced in the form of tablets, ointment, injection solution.Ciprofloxacin inhibits the growth and reproduction of bacteria. The drug is effective against staphylococcus, resistant to the action of aminoglycosides, penicillins, cephalosporin, tetracycline.

    Ciprofloxacin is contraindicated in patients under 18 years of age.

    It is used for skin infections, surgical pathologies. Staphylococcal conjunctivitis can be treated with ciprofloxacin. The drug is produced in the form of tablets, ointment, injection solution.


    Antibiotic – lincosamide, has a bacteriostatic effect.It is used for lesions of the skin, soft tissues, joints. The drug is indicated for the treatment of pulmonary diseases caused by Staphylococcus aureus.

    Produced in capsules, gel, powder for the preparation of injection solutions. Intravenous and intramuscularly administered only to adult patients. For women with bacterial vaginosis, it is prescribed in the form of vaginal suppositories.


    The active ingredients of the drug are tyrmetoprin and sulfamethoxazole.The medicine is effective against genitourinary infections, in the treatment of the organs of the gastrointestinal tract. Available in tablets and suspension. Children are allowed to appoint from three months.

    Co-trimoxazole is a strong enough drug, but it can be taken only in exceptional cases, since it often leads to the development of severe adverse reactions.


    Refers to the group of antibiotics – glycopeptides. It is a reserve drug, that is, it is prescribed for Staphylococcus aureus, if the bacterium is resistant to other antibiotics.Release form – lyophilisate for the preparation of injection solutions.

    Used for sepsis, staphylococcal pneumonia, osteomyelitis, central nervous system damage. Vancomycin is only given intravenously every 6 or 12 hours.


    Antibiotic from the cephalosporin group. The drug is active against methicillin-resistant staphylococci. Available in the form of a lyophilisate. Which is used to prepare solutions for injection.

    It is prescribed for skin infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus and occurring with complications.Contraindicated for use in patients under the age of 18 years.


    Antibiotic fluoroquinolone. The drug is effective against almost all pathogenic microorganisms. In the treatment of pneumonia, it is found mainly intravenously. For ENT infections, Levofloxacin is prescribed to drink in tablets. In case of eye damage, eye drops are used.

    Not prescribed for pregnancy, breastfeeding and children under 18 years of age. The duration of treatment with Levofloxacin should not exceed 14 days.

    Elimination based on localization

    The best antibiotics for Staphylococcus aureus can be chosen based on the localization of its spread. The bacteria can become active in the nose, throat, skin, and internal organs. Therefore, before prescribing antibiotics, it is necessary to find out all the symptoms that bother the patient.

    Antibiotics for intestinal infections caused by staphylococcus are prescribed for weakened and elderly patients, young children.

    The most commonly used cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones.For intestinal infections caused by staphylococcus, the following drugs are also used.


    Antibiotic nitrofuran, a low-toxic drug that can be used to treat adults and children. Under the influence of Furazolidone, bacteria lose their ability to grow and further multiply. Staphylococcus resistance to Furazolidone is rare. The highest concentrations of the drug accumulate in the intestines.

    The drug is taken for 5-10 days.For children, the dosage of the medicine is selected based on body weight.


    An antibacterial drug from the group of antibiotics, nitrofurans, which has a detrimental effect only on pathogenic microflora in the intestinal lumen and in the organs of the urinary system. Available in tablets and powder for suspension. Duration of admission is 5-7 days.

    Nifuroxazide is used for intestinal infections caused by ingestion of staphylococcus with food.The drug prevents the emergence of resistance to other antibiotics. For children from 2 months, the medicine is prescribed in the form of a suspension.

    When vomiting, choose antibiotics in the form of injections, in other cases oral administration is allowed.

    When boils, carbuncles and other pustular foci are located on the skin in a limited area of ​​the body, local antibiotic therapy is prescribed.

    Ointment Mupirocin

    Antibacterial and bactericidal ointment with a wide range of effects on gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria.Mupirocin is applied to the areas of the skin affected by staphylococcus 2-3 times a day for 7-10 days.

    Mupirocin nasal ointment is indicated for the treatment of rhinitis caused by the activation of staphylococci. The nasal passage must be lubricated three times a day for 5-10 days.

    Ointment Retapamulin

    The active ingredient is a pleuromutilin derivative. Retapamulin is effective in the treatment of complicated dermatitis developing under the influence of staphylococcus. It is applied 2 times a day to the site of infection.Approved for use in children from 9 months.

    When applied topically, retapamulin is practically not absorbed through the blood. However, due to insufficient study of the drug, its use is not recommended during pregnancy.

    You can also use agents such as Baneocin, Bactroban, Supirocin. Ointments are applied to the affected area after treating the abscess with an antiseptic. Their use is necessary not only at the stage of abscess formation, but also after the release of purulent contents or after surgery.


    Treatment of Staphylococcus aureus in the nose in adults with Azithromycin is necessary if a causal relationship between bacterial activation and symptoms of infection is established.

    The drug belongs to azalides, is widely used in the treatment of ENT infections, otitis media, sinusitis, pustular skin lesions.

    Azithromycin suppresses protein production, which leads to the cessation of growth and reproduction of staphylococcal flora.

    It is allowed to use Azithromycin in the treatment of pregnant women, but during lactation, the use of the drug is prohibited.


    Produced in the form of a lyophilisate, which is used to prepare a solution for intramuscular and intravenous injections.

    Teicoplanin is used mainly if Staphylococcus aureus is not sensitive to penicillin antibiotics. It is prescribed for infectious lesions of the lungs, bronchi, urinary tract, joints, soft tissues. Teicoplanin can be administered to children from 2 months of age.


    Refers to benzylpenicillins.Suppresses the synthesis of bacteria. Not used if the patient has a history of penicillin intolerance. It is administered intramuscularly, the dosage is calculated based on the severity of the disease.

    Novacin is not recommended to be used simultaneously with macrolides, tetracyclines. The drug is often used to treat patients with severe staphylococcal pneumonia.

    The list of antibiotics effective for Staphylococcus aureus is much more extensive. However, they are selected individually in each case.The doctor takes into account not only how the drug works and the sensitivity of bacteria to it, but also the patient’s age, concomitant diseases.

    What is needed after antibiotic therapy?

    Antibacterial treatment is a serious load on the body, which can lead to a decrease in immunity, to dysbiosis and to a deterioration in the functioning of internal organs. Correct administration of antibiotics allows to reduce the negative consequences of such treatment:

    • The drugs must be given or drunk at the same time.Failure to comply with the interval between the use of single doses leads to the fact that the active ingredients either accumulate in large quantities, or their concentration is insufficient. In the first case, this increases the likelihood of side effects, in the second, it reduces the therapeutic efficacy.
    • Antibiotics for killing Staphylococcus aureus should only be selected after a susceptibility test. In time, it takes several days, therefore, in case of acute severe infections, doctors first prescribe those drugs that act against a wide range of microorganisms.
    • Antibiotic therapy should be combined with probiotics. The use of probiotics prevents the development of dysbiosis and reduces the load on the immune system.

    After treatment, you need to take multivitamin complexes. It is advisable to follow diet therapy, that is, to consume as much fresh vegetable fruits, lactic acid products, meat and fish dishes as possible. Vitamin therapy and enriched nutrition accelerate the body’s recovery and reduce the risk of re-infection with staphylococcus.

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    11 effective antibiotics against staphylococcus

    Staphylococci are a group of gram-positive bacteria that have a spherical or spherical shape.

    Staphylococci are facultative anaerobes. These microorganisms are widespread everywhere. Conditionally pathogenic forms of staphylococci are part of the normal microflora of human skin, and also colonize the mucous membranes of the nasopharynx, oropharynx, etc.d.

    Staphylococcus aureus are pathogenic cocci. However, about 30-35% of the world’s population are permanent healthy carriers of this bacterium.

    With a decrease in immunity, pathogenic staphylococci cause a wide range of diseases: from mild pyoderma to pyelonephritis, meningitis, pneumonia, etc.

    The inflammatory process can affect the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, nervous systems, etc.

    For medicine, 3 types of staphylococcus are of particular interest:

    1. Epidermal .It is a component of normal skin microflora. Pathogenic bacteria are dangerous for people with reduced immunity, newborns and cancer patients.
    2. Gold. Pathogenic staphylococci. This strain of staphylococcus is most often localized on the skin and mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract. The most dangerous are methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which are resistant to most antibiotics.
    3. Saprophytic. Opportunistic staphylococcus aureus.May cause cystitis and urethritis.

    Antibiotics against staphylococcus

    Antibiotics for the treatment of staphylococcal infection should be prescribed exclusively by a doctor, based on the results of cultures for the sensitivity of the pathogen to antimicrobial drugs.

    This is due to the fact that in recent years pathogenic species of staphylococci mutate and are characterized by increased resistance to antibiotics.

    For example, Staphylococcus aureus is able to break down β-lactam antibiotics using a special enzyme – penicillinase.

    When getting rid of this type of pathogen, inhibitor-protected penicillins and some cephalosporins of 2 and 3 generations have proven themselves well.

    The main disadvantage of antibiotic drugs is their indiscriminate nature.

    After a long course of treatment, the qualitative and quantitative composition of the intestinal microflora is disturbed, which leads to the development of dysbiosis.

    Antibiotics destroy beneficial microorganisms that promote the assimilation of proteins, vitamins and microelements, digestion of food, provide lipid metabolism and neutralize putrefactive bacteria and toxins.

    Read more: Medicines that support the intestinal microflora when taking antibiotics

    Most often, the attending physician prescribes antibiotics for the treatment of serious diseases such as:

    • Pyelonephritis is an inflammatory process of bacterial origin that occurs in the kidneys.
    • Staphylococcal pneumonia is a severe inflammation of the lung tissue, in which there is a high likelihood of developing sepsis.
    • Endocarditis – inflammation of the pericardium – the inner lining of the heart.Endocarditis has an infectious etiology. The disease is characterized by pronounced symptoms: fever, shortness of breath, general weakness and pain in the chest area.
    • Myocarditis is an inflammatory process in the heart muscle, most often associated with the action of a bacterial agent;
    • Osteomyelitis is a purulent-necrotic process that affects bone tissue;
    • Sepsis – a systemic inflammatory response of the body to an infectious infection ;.
    • Otitis – an inflammatory process, predominantly of a bacterial nature, localized in the outer, middle or inner ear;
    • Tonsillitis is an infectious and inflammatory lesion of the elements of the pharyngeal ring.

    Antimicrobial drugs, eradication of staphylococci

    Inhibitor-protected and antistaphylococcal penicillins, cephalosporins, macrolides and fluoroquinolones are the main drugs used in the treatment of staphylococcal infections.

    The difficulty lies in the fact that there are methicillin-resistant Styphilococcus aureus, which causes severe and difficult to treat diseases, such as sepsis and staphylococcal pneumonia. Microbiologists call it multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

    The medical community is sounding the alarm, because every year the number of resistant strains is increasing by an average of 10%. These data were obtained during scientific research conducted in the United States of America.

    When methicillin-resistant staphylococcus enters the body, the likelihood of death increases dramatically.

    However, even modern drugs of the latest generation do not guarantee complete eradication of pathogenic bacteria.


    It is a semi-synthetic antibiotic macrolide with a broad spectrum of action. It is resistant to high acidity and has good pharmacological properties.

    For example, the resistance of clarithromycin® to the action of hydrochloric acid is one hundred times higher than that of erythromycin, which is the first antibiotic to initiate the macrolide class.

    Clarithromycin disrupts the synthesis of bacterial proteins, leading to the death of the pathogenic microorganism.

    The drug is used in the treatment of pyoderma, otitis media and in inflammatory diseases of the upper respiratory tract: sinusitis, laryngitis, adenoiditis, etc.

    It is undesirable to take an antibiotic during lactation and in the last stages of pregnancy.

    Treatment with potent antibiotics for Staphylococcus aureus is carried out only if the benefit to the mother outweighs the potential risk to the fetus.

    Read more: Detailed instructions for the use of clarithromycin® + doctor’s reviews


    It is a broad-spectrum antibacterial drug related to azalides.Azithromycin® is actively used in the treatment of otolaryngological diseases. It inhibits protein synthesis, blocks the growth and reproduction of pathogens.

    It is used to treat pyoderma, bronchitis, otitis media, sinusitis, etc.

    Admission is allowed during pregnancy, but only under the supervision of a doctor. Treatment of staphylococcus with Azithromycin® during breastfeeding is unacceptable.

    Read more: Instructions for the use of azithromycin® with analogs


    Tricyclic antibiotic from the group of glycopeptides.Refers to reserve drugs for antimicrobial therapy against Staphylococcus aureus and other multidrug-resistant bacteria.

    Vancomycin® is aggressive towards many resistant strains, and the bactericidal effect is due to inhibition of the biosynthesis of the cell wall of the pathogenic microorganism. It is contraindicated in the first trimester of pregnancy. In the later stages, it is accepted only in the absence of alternative methods of treatment.

    Read more: Vancomycin® – instructions for use and analogs


    This is a broad-spectrum semisynthetic drug related to penicillins. The acid in its composition is obtained from mold cultures. These organic compounds are highly active against staphylococcus (with the exception of penicillinase-producing strains).

    Often, Amoxicillin® is prescribed as a prophylaxis.Its reception allows you to avoid postoperative complications. The bioavailability index of a medicinal substance is higher than that of most analogues. The antibiotic crosses the placental barrier, excreted in small quantities in breast milk.

    Not recommended for patients with infectious mononucleosis; during the period of recurrence of chronic Epstein-Barr carriage and cytomegalovirus infections; in the presence of renal and hepatic insufficiency; in patients with beta-lactam intolerance.The drug is incompatible with alcohol.

    Main article: Instruction for Amoxicillin®


    Lincomycin® is an antibacterial agent of the lincosamide group, the action of which depends on the concentration: in small doses it acts bacteriostatically (suppresses the reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms), and in large doses it already has a bactericidal effect (causes their death).

    The antibiotic is prescribed for purulent tissue inflammation: phlegmon and abscess, as well as for osteomyelitis.Cannot be used during pregnancy and lactation.

    Lincomycin hydrochloride® (solution for parenteral administration) is contraindicated in children under one month of age. The oral form of the drug (capsule) is not prescribed for patients under six years of age.


    Antibiotic Ciprofloxacin® of a broad spectrum of action from the group of second generation fluoroquinolones. It is considered the most effective representative of this group of drugs. Ciprofloxacin® is actively used in clinical practice.An antibiotic, produced in the form of an ointment, is prescribed for staphylococcal eye lesions.

    Ciprofloxacin® is indicated for postoperative rehabilitation. Contraindicated in pregnant and breastfeeding women, patients under 18 years of age.


    This bacteriostatic antibiotic from the tetracyclines group is active against many strains. It is widely used in dentistry and ophthalmology. Tetracycline is available in tablet and ointment form.

    Antimicrobial therapy with this drug implies a complete rejection of the use of dairy products, as they affect its absorption.Tetracycline is contraindicated in children under eight years of age, pregnant women and people with impaired liver function.

    At the moment, more modern tetracycline antibiotic – doxycycline is used more often.

    Main article: Instruction for Tetracycline®


    Levofloxacin® is an antibiotic for the treatment of staphylococcus aureus of the third generation of fluoroquinolones. It is indicated for staphylococcal pneumonia, tuberculosis, sinusitis and pyelonephritis.

    Like all fluoroquinolone preparations, it is quite toxic.

    Not applicable for patient treatment:

    • under the age of 18;
    • 90,124 pregnant and breastfeeding women;

    • with hemolytic anemia, epilepsy, diseases of the joints and ligaments.

    It is prescribed with caution in elderly patients due to age-related decrease in renal function.


    Roxithromycin® is an erythromycin derivative.Roxithromycin® is effective for infections of the upper and lower respiratory tract, skin and soft tissues, urinary tract, etc.

    Therapy with these medicines is possible only with an accurate determination of the pathogen. The course of treatment is at least 10 days. After its completion, it is recommended to conduct a bacterial analysis confirming the eradication of pathogenic staphylococcus.

    Be sure to watch the video:

    Cefoperazone + sulbactam®

    • Inhibitor-protected cephalosporin, characterized by a high level of resistance to most bacterial beta-lactamases.
    • The drug is effective against Staphylococcus aureus (including penicillinase-producing strains).
    • Cefoperazone + sulbactam® is contraindicated in patients with individual intolerance to beta-lactams and sulbactam, as well as in premature infants and persons with severe renal and liver dysfunctions.

    The drug is effective for upper respiratory tract infections, gynecological infections, pyoderma, sepsis, etc.


    Cefepim® belongs to the fourth generation cephalosporin antibiotics.The drug has a bactericidal effect on most strains of staphylococcus, including beta-lactamase-producing forms.

    Cefepim® is effective in septic complications. Severe pyoderma, pneumonia, bronchitis, gynecological infections, etc.

    The drug is contraindicated in persons with individual intolerance to beta-lactams.


    Cefuroxime® belongs to the second generation cephalosporin antibiotics with a pronounced bactericidal effect against staphylococci.

    The drug is capable of disrupting the synthesis of bacterial cell membranes, leading to their death.

    The agent is highly effective in the treatment of infections of the respiratory tract, pharyngitis, sinusitis, otitis media, pyoderma, phlegmon, infections of the pelvic organs, etc.

    Rules for taking antibiotics for staphylococcal infections

    The chances of a successful treatment outcome increase with the correct use of antibiotic drugs.

    • Antibiotics for staphylococcal infections should only be prescribed by a specialist.Long-term courses of antibiotic therapy are carried out under the obligatory control of a coagulogram, general and biochemical (monitoring of the function of the kidneys and liver) blood tests.
    • Strict adherence to dosage. The required amount of medicine is determined only by the attending physician. The patient, even with visible improvements, should in no case decrease it, so that the concentration of the drug in the blood does not decrease. Interrupted treatment is dangerous because bacteria begin to develop resistance to the drug used.
    • The minimum course of antibiotic treatment is 7 days. In severe cases, the duration of the course can be up to several weeks.
    • Read the instructions carefully. Some antibiotics are taken once a day, while others are taken up to 5 times a day. The frequency of administration depends on the rate of excretion of drugs.
    • Dietary correction of the diet during antimicrobial therapy. Certain foods either increase the absorption of drugs or interfere with their absorption.The use of milk, sweets, muffins, juices, yoghurts is prohibited. Antibiotics should not be taken with soda, strong tea, or coffee. Alcohol is also strictly prohibited. Sorbents and antacids neutralize the effect of the antibiotic.
    • Age restrictions are taken into account. Some antibiotics for Staphylococcus aureus in adults are prohibited in pediatrics.

    Read on: How to drink antibiotics correctly and how often you can take them

    Alternative treatments

    1. Bacterial lysates promote active production of antibodies against staphylococcus. They are safe, non-addictive and have no side effects.
    2. Staphylococcal toxoid forms antistaphylococcal immunity, forcing the body to fight not only against bacteria, but also against its toxin.
      Toxoid is injected for 10 days.
    3. Vaccination against staphylococcus is permissible from the age of six months. Staphylococcal toxoid is a detoxified and purified staphylococcal toxin. When administered, it promotes the formation of specific antibodies to exotoxins produced by staphylococcus.Applicable for children over one year old.

      Vaccination is used routinely in agricultural and industrial workers, surgical patients, donors. The frequency of administration and the intervals between them depend on the purpose of vaccination.

    4. Galavit® is an immunomodulatory drug with anti-inflammatory action, which has proven itself in the eradication of resistant strains of staphylococcus.

      It has a complex effect, increasing the protective functions of the body and destroying pathogenic microorganisms.It is produced in the form of a powder, in order to prepare a solution for intramuscular injections (used in patients over 18 years of age), in tablet form and in the form of suppositories for rectal administration. Galavit® is approved for use from 6 years old.

      Not assigned to pregnant and lactating women.

    5. Chlorophyllipt® is an antiseptic medicine that relieves inflammation and contains a mixture of chlorophylls from eucalyptus leaves. A weakly concentrated solution is used orally for infectious intestinal lesions.For the treatment of the skin, solutions with a higher concentration of the drug are prepared.

      Chlorophyllipt® is prescribed for adults and children over 12 years of age.

    Did you know that Staphylococcus aureus is the only cause of acne or acne?

    Read: Guide to Action: Choosing Antibiotics for Acne on the Face and Body

    Antibiotics for staphylococcus aureus and a group of drugs by type of infection

    If the disease is provoked by a staphylococcal infection, then the treatment in most cases is carried out with the use of antibacterial drugs.

    Antibiotics for staphylococcus are selected by the doctor depending on the type of disease, the patient’s condition and the sensitivity of the microorganism to certain antibacterial drugs.

    Staphylococcus aureus is present in the natural opportunistic flora of humans, the disease is caused only by certain types of this bacterium: Staphylococcus aureus, epidermal and saprophytic.

    Group of antibiotics for staphylococcal infection

    The main antibiotics for staphylococcal infections are drugs of the penicillin series, the group of fluoroquinolones and cephalosporins.However, even the above antibiotics for Staphylococcus aureus may be ineffective if the microorganism has developed resistance to them. These infection strains are called methicillin-resistant infections.

    Every year the number of such microorganisms increases by 10%. If an adult becomes infected with such an infection, then every third patient will die, despite timely and correct treatment.

    Important! An antibiotic is the only effective treatment for pathologies provoked by staphylococcus.But the more often an antibacterial drug is used in the treatment of staphylococcal diseases, the more resistant the microorganism becomes to the drugs used.

    Today, the following groups of antibiotics are used to combat infectious diseases caused by staphylococcus:

    • azithromycins;
    • clarithromycins;
    • amoxicillins;
    • nifuroxazides;
    • furazolidones;
    • vancomycins;
    • lincomycins;
    • tetracyclines;
    • ciprofloxacins;
    • roxithromycins;
    • levofloxacins.

    Type of treatment depending on the type of infection

    The choice of antibacterial agents by a specialist is made depending on the type of disease, the age of the patient, the general condition of the patient and the test results. It is also important to consider how intense the infection was and how quickly the infection spreads.

    Most often, the choice of the drug depends on the type of staphylococcal infection:

    1. Staphylococcus epidermidis is usually treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics.These drugs include cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones. This mildest form of infection with limited localization can only be treated with local antibacterial medications (ointments, creams and solutions).
    2. Saprophytic staphylococcus aureus is more aggressive, therefore, if an infection enters the bloodstream and spreads throughout the body, treatment is carried out with systemic antibiotics.
    3. Staphylococcus aureus is the most dangerous. It is this type of microorganism that most rapidly develops resistance to medications that are used to destroy it.If it says how to treat Staphylococcus aureus, antibiotics of the methicillin, dicloxacillin and oxacillin groups are no longer used, since the infection has developed resistance to them.

    Cephalosporins, penicillins and fluoroquinolones are the main antibiotics for Staphylococcus aureus, but even they do not guarantee complete cure of the infection. Therefore, relapses of purulent-necrotic lesions occur in half of the patients.

    Antibiotics against staphylococcus

    Antibiotics are powerful medications.They quickly and effectively stop the inflammatory processes in the body, which provoke staphylococcus aureus. Despite this, antibacterial drugs have many side effects and contraindications. That is why only a specialist can prescribe them, taking into account the age, condition and type of disease.


    This drug belongs to the group of lincosamides and is an antimicrobial systemic agent. Capsules are taken orally with water. The dosage is determined by the doctor, taking into account the severity of the disease.For adults, the daily dose is 0.6-1.8 g. This amount is divided into several doses.

    Contraindications include hypersensitivity to lincomycins and clindamycins, as well as infectious meningitis. Possible adverse reactions from the digestive system, skin, urinary and immune systems.


    These are local antibacterial agents used in dermatology. Retapamulin is a synthetic derivative of pleuromutilin.The drug is prescribed for the local treatment of bacterial skin pathologies. The ointment is used only externally and is applied in a thin layer.

    Adverse reactions include local irritation, pain, itching, burning, contact dermatitis and erythema. The medicine is contraindicated in case of hypersensitivity.


    This is a semi-synthetic drug of broad activity, which belongs to the group of penicillins. The main active ingredient is obtained by processing mold cultures.These organic compounds have a detrimental effect on staphylococcus aureus.

    Some experts recommend taking Amoxicillin for prophylaxis after surgery, which helps prevent postoperative complications. The bioavailability of this drug is much higher than that of its analogues. The drug crosses the placenta and is excreted in breast milk.

    Important: Amoxicillin is contraindicated in pathologies of the liver, kidneys and under the age of 18.

    Also, treatment with Amoxicillin should be abandoned for infectious mononucleosis, against the background of a relapse of Epstein-Barr viral infection and cytomegalovirus.It is not prescribed for patients with beta-lactam intolerance. Alcohol should not be consumed during treatment.


    It is a semi-synthetic preparation with broad activity. The drug is rapidly absorbed, so it can be taken regardless of food intake. It has a detrimental effect on some gram-negative bacteria and staphylococci.

    The drug gives a minimum of side effects, therefore it is prescribed to patients from the first weeks after birth.For each age group, the dose of the drug is determined by the doctor individually.

    The only contraindication to the use of this medication is hypersensitivity and allergic reaction.


    This is a combined preparation containing an antibiotic and clavulanic acid. This combination increases the effectiveness of the drug against bacteria that have developed resistance to amoxicillin.

    The drug is available in the form of a powder, from which a suspension is prepared, and in tablet form.This allows you to prescribe Amoxiclav to patients of different age groups. The drug is contraindicated in case of hypersensitivity, severe reactions to β-lactam agents, liver dysfunction and jaundice, which were triggered by the use of amoxicillin.

    The effect of antibacterial drugs on staphylococci

    When treating staphylococcal pathologies, it is important to take into account that the bacterium quickly develops resistance to drugs, so the next time a previously used drug may not help.

    Prescribing antibiotics is justified only if the infectious agent enters the bloodstream and spreads throughout the body.

    Usually, against the background of such a pathology, the temperature rises, the general condition of the patient worsens, weakness, headache, and general intoxication appear.

    Another argument in favor of antibiotic treatment will be that against the background of general intoxication, the body’s defenses are reduced and it is more difficult for it to neutralize the infection. It is impossible to give an exact answer which medicine for Staphylococcus aureus is the most effective.

    Often, in the treatment of antibiotic-resistant strains of staphylococcus, it is necessary to use not one antibacterial agent, but a combination of two drugs. In recent years, this infection has begun to mutate.

    So, Staphylococcus aureus has learned to break down β-lactam antibacterial agents, producing penicillinase.

    Therefore, in the fight against such strains, cephalosporins of the 2nd and 3rd generation, as well as semi-synthetic penicillins with clavulanic acid, are used.

    The main disadvantage of antibiotics is their indiscriminate action. Together with pathogenic microorganisms, they destroy the beneficial human microflora. Dysbiosis can be a consequence of such treatment. That is why probiotics are often prescribed against the background of antibiotic therapy.

    Effective antibiotics for staphylococcal infection and the rules for their use

    The long-term period of observation of diseases arising in humans has helped modern medicine to recognize a considerable number of infectious forms of microorganisms.The widest classification is in bacteria, among which staphylococcal infection is distinguished.

    This name is always heard, but few people can fully tell about these bacteria and, moreover, about the drug methods of dealing with them. In order to eliminate such a gap in knowledge for everyone, our resource has prepared comprehensive material on how to properly treat staphylococcal infection with antibiotics and what it is in principle.

    Staphylococcal infection – causes and symptoms

    Staphylococcal infection is a group of diseases caused by Staphylococcus aureus, which can manifest itself in different forms

    Any staphylococcus is a round and sedentary microorganism that lives in a huge number of places in our environment.

    Throughout life, staphylococcal infection lives inside a person.

    Normal immune tone allows the body to easily tolerate the presence of such microflora, but the slightest weakening of it can cause the development of any bacterial disease.

    Staphylococcal bacteria mostly inhabit the human skin and mucous membranes. Depending on the type of staphylococcus, which has activated and began its unfavorable activity in the human body, the ailment that will develop is determined, and how difficult it will be.

    As medical practice shows, the most common and often causing diseases in humans are the following types of staphylococci:

    • Saprophytic – their main habitat is the human urethra.Often they provoke the development of ailments of the urinary and reproductive system. For example, female cystitis.
    • Epidermal – most often affects the skin and mucous membranes. Often they are provocateurs of such ailments as sepsis and endocarditis.
    • Golden – live everywhere in the human body. They are capable of provoking diseases of the most varied severity: from bacterial sore throat to food poisoning. This type is the most dangerous for humans, as it easily enters the human body by contact and airborne droplets.

    Regardless of what ailment provoked the activity of staphylococci, the main reasons for the activation of unfavorable bacterial microflora are:

    • weakening of immunity
    • severe course of acute forms of diseases of viral or fungal etiology
    • the presence of chronic diseases in a person
    • adverse environmental impact

    More information about Staphylococcus aureus can be found in the video:

    Symptoms of diseases of staphylococcal infection have a different form.So, with skin lesions by bacteria, it can manifest itself in the form of a rash and neoplasms on the epithelium, and with damage to the inner part of the body, in the form of an increased temperature and damage to a specific organ.

    The most pronounced symptoms of staphylococcal disease are as follows:

    • temperature rise within 37-39 0C
    • fever, chills, weakness and drowsiness
    • skin swelling
    • appearance of skin lesions
    • decreased appetite
    • appearance of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
    • development of ailments of the respiratory tract with damage to specific ENT organs
    • headaches and dizziness
    • nasal congestion
    • long incubation period – 5 to 15 days

    Not in every case is it possible to determine a bacterial disease on your own, so you should not ignore a visit to the clinic.It is in it that specialists will be able to analyze and determine which staphylococcus aureus struck you and with what drugs it is easiest to get rid of it.

    The effect of antibacterial drugs on staphylococci

    Staphylococcus aureus

    Everyone knows that the basis of the treatment of any bacterial disease is the use of antibiotics. Depending on the individual characteristics of each case, the choice may fall on one or another type of antibacterial drug, but the principle of action of any of them is the same.

    Conventionally, antibiotics are divided into two large groups according to their principle of action:

    • the first drugs suppress the synthesis of the outer membrane of the bacterial cell, as a result of which it cannot function normally and dies
    • the second drugs are aimed at stopping any metabolic processes in bacterial microorganisms, as a result of which they also die

    Antibiotics of the first group are weaker and are used in cases where the disease occurs in the initial stages or is generally not serious.The drugs of the second group are more potent, therefore, their use is carried out with a serious course of the disease and the impossibility of getting rid of it with the help of drugs of the first group.

    It is important to understand that antibiotics are capable of destroying only a bacterial infection, against a viral one – they are completely powerless.

    By competently organizing the intake of antibacterial drugs, you can completely get rid of staphylococcal infection in a few weeks and return yourself to normal life.Moreover, staphylococci are not as dangerous as a number of other types of bacteria.

    Best antibiotics for treating infection

    Antibiotics for staphylococcal infection should be prescribed by a doctor after examination

    Staphylococcal infection is not difficult to treat, but only on the condition that the type of bacteria that infect a particular patient is precisely determined. It is impractical to take antibiotics of a general effect in case of staphylococcal lesions, since this is fraught with the appearance of a considerable number of side effects.

    Based on this state of affairs, we strongly recommend that you start taking antibacterial drugs only after passing the appropriate tests and consulting your doctor.

    It should be understood that the therapy of staphylococcal infection is divided into two, simultaneously occurring stages:

    • strengthening the body’s immune system
    • elimination of the provocateur of the disease, that is, staphylococci

    For the last stage, you can take either topical antibiotics (if the disease is not serious), or preparations in the form of injections, which have a stronger effect.Antibiotics against staphylococcus have a broad classification and are prescribed based on:

    • species of bacteria
    • the severity of the course of the disease
    • individual characteristics of each case

    The best and frequently used antibacterial drugs against staphylococcal infection are:

    • Amoxicillin – inhibits the multiplication of infection and kills all previously formed bacteria.
    • Baneocin – used for skin lesions with staphylococci.Has properties similar to the previous antibiotic. This antibacterial ointment is made from bacinthracin and neomycin.
    • Vancomycin is an intravenous injection with a relatively mild effect on the body. It is a drug that stops the reproduction of bacteria, acting on their cell membrane.
    • Erythromycin – excellently helps to kill all existing bacteria in the body and stop the process of their reproduction.
    • Cloxacillin is a staphylococcal infection multiplication blocker.
    • Muniprocin – an analogue of antibacterial ointment – Baneocin. However, it has a stronger effect than this drug.
    • Oxacillin is an antibiotic produced in various forms. It differs from others in that it is not able to kill the bacteria that have appeared, but it perfectly blocks their reproduction.
    • Cefazolin, Cefalexin, Cephalotin and Cefotaxime are a group of drugs of moderate exposure. They help to kill bacteria that have already appeared and stop their reproduction at the same time.

    It is important to take this or that antibiotic in full accordance with its instructions.Also, it will not be superfluous to consult with a treating specialist before starting antibiotic therapy. Only he will be able to determine the reasonableness of taking the drug you have chosen based on the etiology of your disease.

    “Natural antibiotics” from staphylococcus

    Many residents of Russia and the CIS countries are still actively using traditional methods of treating various ailments. Of course, this practice is often not superfluous, but it should be understood that it should be used as an aid to the main drug treatment.

    In addition, before using the so-called natural antibiotics for staphylococcal infections, it is important to consult your doctor about this.

    The following natural remedies are most effective against staphylococcus:

    • Fresh onions, garlic, raspberries and black currants. They are used in any form convenient for the patient.
    • Cabbage and horseradish. Excellent help in the fight against Staphylococcus aureus.
    • Decoctions of sage, St. John’s wort and celandine.Help with skin lesions with staphylococcal infection as a “natural ointment”.
    • Tea tree oil. Has a similar effect to previous products.
    • Honey and essential oils. They are used in different variations, but almost always help to get rid of staphylococci.

    Do not forget that only natural antibiotics can be cured of staphylococcal infection only in rare cases. Therefore, if after 4-6 days of alternative therapy there are no results or complications appear, immediately proceed with drug therapy of the disease, preferably under the supervision of a doctor.

    Antibiotic therapy rules

    Correct use of antibiotics is the key to a quick recovery!

    Now that you know how and how to treat staphylococcal infection, it is equally important to determine how the treatment of bacterial diseases is carried out correctly. In fact, antibacterial treatments are not difficult to implement and require a number of rules to be followed.

    The general list of the latter is as follows:

    • Obligatory organization of bed rest for the patient for the entire period of therapy.
    • Taking antibiotics in full accordance with the instructions for the drugs and the doctor’s recommendations.
    • Accompanying the intake of antibiotics with the use of drugs such as protectors of the gastrointestinal tract microflora and immunostimulants.