Staphylococcus aureus

The Pathogen

Staphylococcus aureus or Staph is spherical, Gram-positive bacteria that occurs in clusters resembling grapes and whose microscopic colonies are often golden yellow in color. This gives S. aureus the common name “golden staph.�A common bacteria, Staph is found in approximately 30 percent of the world’s population. It most frequently colonizes the nasal passages, but can be found in other locales such as the skin, oral cavity and gastrointestinal tract. Staph causes a wide range of illnesses, from minor skin infections and lesions (boils, styes, furuncules etc.) to more serious and life-threatening infections, such as pneumonia, mastitis, meningitis, osteomyelitis and endocarditis.

In addition, Staph is a notorious cause of nosocomial infections associated with invasive procedures and medical devices. MRSA, or methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus [internal link], is also associated with serious and lethal hospital infections, and has gained notoriety in the media recently due to “superbug�strains.

The Problem

Virulence factors expressed by Staph promote a variety of survival techniques, including colonization of host tissues, rapid proliferation of bacteria, immunological disguise as well as inherent and acquired resistance to antibiotics. The latter is the greatest threat posed by the bacteria.

Labeled by the CDC as a “multi-drug-resistant organism,�or MDRO, Staph exhibits characteristic resistance to a variety of antibiotics, especially in hospital settings. A few strains of Staph are resistant to all clinical antibiotics except for vancomycin, and there are increasing reports of vancomycin-resistant strains. Evidence of growing resistance to antibiotics combined with the lack of an approved vaccine for Staph is seen as a cause for great concern among the medical community.

The NanoLogix Solution

One important key to mitigating strains of antibiotic resistant Staph in clinical settings is rapid diagnostic technology for detection, containment and treatment of illnesses caused by Staph infections. While rapid diagnostic technology exists with methods such as real-time PCR, conclusive results can be more expensive and still take 18 to 24 hours to return results.

NanoLogix technology provides rapid detection and identification of live cell Staph in just 4 hours. This increased speed of detection means faster, more targeted treatment and less of a reliance on empirical treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics. This in turn helps mitigate future increases to antibiotic resistance of Staph.