Staphylococcus aureus (incl. MRSA, VRSA)

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Staphylococcus aureus postoperative wound infection SSI prevention prevention antibiotic-resistant pathogens infection protection surgical products wound dressings gloves
Staphylococcus aureus post-operative wound infection SSI prevention Prevention MRSA antibiotic-resistant pathogens

What is Staphylococcus aureus?

Existing worldwide, Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that belongs to the family of staphylococci. The bacterium is present primarily on the skin, as well as on nasopharyngeal mucosa – mostly without any health ill effects. Infections only occur when the bacteria enter the body through wounds or mucus membranes. Both MRSA and VRSA are strains that are resistant to many common antibiotics, such as methicillin and beta-lactam antibiotics in the case of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), or vancomycin in the case of VRSA (vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). The bacteria are primarily found where antibiotics are frequently used, for example in hospitals, or in farmyards.

How is Staphylococcus aureus transmitted?

Bacteria are most often passed directly from person to person through touch. Carriers of MRSA can also infect themselves, by touching a wound, for example. In addition, the pathogen can also be transmitted via objects and medical instruments, or via contact with farm animals carrying the bacterium.

What are symptoms of the disease?

After an incubation period of about 4 to 10 days, Staphylococcus aureus infections can cause furuncles, abscesses, meningitis, wound infections, pneumonia, inflammation of various organs and sepsis.

S. aureus and surgical site infections: Download the factsheet here!

Significance for infections in hospitals and in the outpatient sector

Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most common causes of postoperative wound infections, respiratory infections and primary sepsis. Increasing resistance to a large number of standard antibiotics makes the treatment of infections more difficult.

Survival time of pathogens on inanimate surfaces

7 days to 7 months

Disinfectant effectiveness for prevention

The necessary spectrum of activity against staphylococci is: bactericidal

How to prevent Surgical Site Infections

In Europe, Surgical Site Infections (SSI) are the second most common cause of hospital-acquired infections. The following animation shows how to prevent them:

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