Attributes of Staphylococcus aureus

Attributes of Staphylococcus aureus:

S.aureus generates various substances to evade or overcome host defenses. Such substances are enzymes and toxins. They are:

(1) Catalase:
It is an enzyme that splits hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen.

(2) Coagulase:
This is an enzyme like protein. It clots plasma, fibrin is deposited above the organism and therefore it escapes from the attack by phagocytic cells.

(3) Hyaluronidase:
It is also termed as spreading factor. With its help staphylococci can spread via tissues.

(4) Staphylokinase:
This lyses the fibrin clot.

(5) Proteases:
These are enzymes which split proteins

(6) Lipases:
These are enzymes which degrade lipids.

(7) Betalactamase:
This enzyme is generated by some strains of staphylococci that splits penicillin molecule

(8) Exotoxins:

  • Alpha toxin that is a hemolysin which lyses the red blood cell and harms the platelets
  • Betatoxin degrades sphingomyelin and harms many cells.

(9) Leukocidins:
These toxins destroy white blood cells.

(10) Exfoliative toxin:
It causes the peeling off of squamous epithelial cells of skin. Such toxin is responsible for a condition termed as scaled skin syndrome

(11) Toxic shock syndrome toxin (TSS toxin):
It is related with fever, shock and multisystem involvement.

(12) Enterotoxins:
These are accountable for causing food poisoning.


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