Carotenoid pigment producing colonies on
Mueller-Hinton Agar after 48h incubation
Legend: +  positive 90-100%, - negative 90-100%,  d positive 25-74%, nd not determined.
S. aureus subsp. aureus
- arthritis in chicken, otitis in dogs, mastitis in cows / sheeps;
- may be a cause of  toxic shock syndrome (toxins produced);
- deep-seated infections, such as osteomyelitis and endocarditis;
- skin lesions such as boils, styes and furunculosis, folliculitis, scalded skin
syndrome, impetigo;
- nosocomial infections;
- food poisoning by releasing enterotoxins into food (staphyloenterotoxicosis,
staphyloenterotoxemia);
- produce hyaluronidase, Protein A, coagulase, clotting factor, hemolysins (α, β, γ, δ),
leukotoxin, leukocidin, deoxyribonuclease (DNase), beta lactamase (penicillinase),
staphylokinase, enterotoxins (A, B, C, C2, D, E, F), toxic shock syndrome toxin.
Staphylococcus aureus, Gram-staining
S. aureus alpha- & beta-haemolytic colonies
Staphylococcus aureus
Taxonomy
Morphology
Cultural characteristics
Biochemical characters
Ecology
Pathogenicity
References
Phylum Firmicutes, Class Bacilli, Order Bacillales, Family Staphylococcaceae, Genus Staphylococcus, Staphylococcus aureus  
Rosenbach 1884 (
Staphylococcus pyogenes aureus);  other synonims: Staphlococcus pyogenes citreus  Passet 1885; Micrococcus
aureus
 Zopf 1885; Micrococcus pyogenes  Lehmann and Neumann 1896.

S. aureus subsp. anaerobius  De La Fuente et al. 1985,
S. aureus subsp. aureus  Rosenbach 1884 – type species of the genus.
Gram-positive cocci, 0,8 - 1 μm, nonmotile, nonsporing. Occur in clusters resembling
grapes (staphylo-).
Subsp. aureus: after 48h of incubation colonies are circular, opaque, yellowish, 0.5-2
mm diameter, S-type, often hemolytic on blood agar. May produce capsules.
Encapsulated strains usually produce smaller and more convex colonies.
Temperature range for growth 10–45 ºC; optimum 30–37 ºC. Facultatively anaerobic.

Subsp. anaerobius: colonies on blood agar are white (non-pigmented), opaque,
glistening, entire, smooth, and convex; 1–3 mm in diameter after 2 days incubation.
Temperature range for optimal growth 30–40 ºC. No growth at 20 or 45 ºC.

Both subspecies grow good in medium containing 10% NaCl; poor/none at 15%
NaCl. Grow on Trypticase Soy Agar ± 5% sheep blood, Mueller Hinton agar, Dorset
with egg (for subsp. anaerobius), Chapman (selective medium with 75 g/l NaCl &
mannitol).
Isolated from human & animal skin, ears and mucous membranes; ubiquitous.
Novobiocin sensible.
S. aureus subsp. anaerobius
- absceses in small ruminants, nonpathogenic for rodents.
- produce coagulase and hyaluronidase.
- no production of enterotoxins A, B, C, D, or E or protein A.
  1. Holt J.G., Krieg N.R., Sneath P.H.A., Staley J.T., Wiliams S.T., 1994. Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriology, Ninth Edition,
    Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore. Group 17, Gram-Positive Cocci, 527-558.
  2. De La Fuente R., Suarez G. & Schleifer K.H.: Staphylococcus aureus subsp. anaerobius subsp. nov., the causal agent of abscess
    disease of sheep. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1985, 35, 99-102.
  3. Rosenbach F.J.: Microorganismen bei den Wund-Infections-Krankheiten des Menschen. J.F. Bergmann, Wiesbaden, 1884, pp. 1-
    122.
  4. Karl-Heinz Schleifer and Julia A. Bell, 2009. Family VIII. Staphylococcaceae fam. nov.. In: (Eds.) P.D. Vos, G. Garrity, D. Jones, N.R.
    Krieg, W. Ludwig, F.A. Rainey, K.-H. Schleifer, W.B. Whitman. Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, Volume 3: The
    Firmicutes, Springer, 392-426.
Positive results for alkaline phosphatase, coagulase, DN-ase, FDP-aldolase class 1,
heat-stable nuclease, hyaluronidase, urease, acid production from fructose &
sucrose.

Negative results for beta-galactosidase, beta-glucuronidase, oxidase, acid production
from arabinose, cellobiose, melezitose, raffinose, salicin, xylitol & xylose.

Differential characters of Staphylococcus aureus subspecies:
(c) Costin Stoica
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Growth on
15% NaCl
Growth at
15 ºC
Colony
diameter > 5mm
Pigment
production
Aerobic growth
Growth on
(NH
4)2SO4.
S. aureus subsp. anaerobius
d
-
-
-
-
nd
S. aureus subsp. aureus
+(w)
+
+
+
+
-
Fucose
Galactose
Lactose
Mannitol
Mannose
Ribose
Trehalose
Turanose
nd
-
-
-
-
-
-
nd
-
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
Arginine
dihydrolase
Acetoin
production
Catalase
Fibrinolysin
Beta-
glucosidase
Nitrates
reduction
FDP-aldolase
Class 2
D-Lactic acid
production
nd
-
-
nd
-
-
nd
-
+
+
+
d
+
+
-
+