Staphylococcus capitis Gram-stained cells
Staphylococcus capitis weak alpha-haemolysis on
Sheep Blood Agar
Staphylococcus capitis
Taxonomy
Morphology
Cultural characteristics
Biochemical characters
Ecology
Pathogenicity
References
Phylum Firmicutes, Class Bacilli, Order Bacillales, Family Staphylococcaceae, Genus Staphylococcus, Staphylococcus capitis  Kloos
and Schleifer 1975.
- Staphylococcus capitis subsp. capitis  Kloos and Schleifer 1975,
- Staphylococcus capitis subsp. urealyticus  Bannerman and Kloos 1991.
Gram positive cocci, 0.5 - 1.2 μm, nonmotile, nonspore-forming, singly or grouped in
pairs and clusters.
Colonies are smooth, slightly convex, glistening, opaque, and white or grayish white;
after storage in the cold (4-10 ºC). Some strains become yellowish or yellow-orange.
Colony diameter is 1-3 mm (
subsp. capitis) or  4.3-7.1mm (subsp.urealyticus).
Haemolysis is variable and weak.
Facultatively anaerobic. Optimum growth temperature is 34-35 ºC. Grows best under
aerobic conditions. Other media: Nutrient agar or nutrient broth, Trypticase Soy Agar ±
5% sheep blood, Mueller Hinton agar, Chapman (selective medium with 75 g/l de
NaCl & mannitol).
Isolated from human & animal skin; widely distributed in nature.
Sensible to novobiocin.
- skin surface commensal of man and animals;
- some endocarditis reports, septicemia to neonates;
- nosocomial infections (rarely).
  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. Kloos W.E. & Schleifer K.H.: Isolation and characterization of staphylococci from human skin. II. Description of four new species:
    Staphylococcus warneri, Staphylococcus capitis, Staphylococcus hominis, and Staphylococcus simulans. International Journal of
    Systematic Bacteriology, 1975, 25, 62-79.
  3. Bannerman T.L. & Kloos W.E.: Staphylococcus capitis subsp. ureolyticus (sic) subsp. nov. from human skin. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol.,
    1991, 41, 144-147.
  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 catalase, acid production from: fructose, glucose, mannitol,
mannose & sucrose.

Negative results for alkaline phosphatase, coagulase, clumping factor, heat-stable
nuclease,
fibrinolysin, beta-glucosidase, beta-galactosidase, beta-glucuronidase,
acid production from: arabinose, cellobiose, melezitose, raffinose, ribose, salicin,
trehalose, turanose, xylitol & xylose.

Variable results for nitrates reduction.

See tables for subspecies differential characters.
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Colony > 5mm
Pigment
Aerobic growth
Anaerobic growth
Arginine dihydrolase
Subsp. capitis
-
-
+
[+]
v
Subsp. urealyticus
v
v
+
[+]
+
Growth on 10%
NaCl
Growth on 15%
NaCl
Growth at
15 ºC
Growth at
45 ºC
FDP-aldolase Class 1
FDP-aldolase Class 2
Acetoin
production
+
-
-
+
+
-
[+]
 
 
 
 
 
 
+
Growth on
(NH
4)2SO4.
Urease
DNase
Maltose
Galactose
Lactose
Turanose
-
-
weak
-
-
-
-
 
+
+
+
 
v
v