What Is Staphylococcus Aureus?

Staphylococcus aureus is a bacteria that causes infectious diseases to tissue in the body. Staph infections are very prevalent to this day. In fact, 19,000 deaths in the US every year are due to untreated staph infections. Infection with this bacteria can range from being mild without treatment necessary to severe and fatal.

This bacteria is usually found within the nose, as well as on the skin. Occasionally, it will show up in other areas. Around one in four people will have this bacteria within their bodies. Most of the time, the presence of this bacteria does not lead to a disease. However, any surface wound may let the bacteria in and overcome protective measures of the body.

History of Staphylococcus Aureus

Staphylococcus comes from the Greek word staphyle, which means bunch of grapes, as well as kokkos, which means berry. This is due to how this bacteria looks under a microscope. It was first discovered in 1881 by Sir Alexander Ogston. He found it causes wound infections due to it being found in pus due to surgical abscesses. Before the 1940s, this bacteria led to most people with it dying. However, since the discovery of penicillin, it has been able to be treated and cured relatively easy. Unfortunately, by the end of the 1940s, penicillin resistance was widespread, which meant new antibiotics had to be used to treat it.

Symptoms of Diseases Caused By Staphylococcus Aureus

Staph infections can be anything from minor skin issues to endocarditis, which is a life-threatening infection within the heart. There are a number of different kinds of symptoms, depending on how severe the infection is.

Here are some of the main symptoms people experience:

  • Boils
  • Painful rashes
  • Cellulitis
  • Scaly skin
  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • Bloodstream infection
  • Septic arthritis

How You Can Treat Staphylococcus Aureus

Treatment of Staphylococcus aureus involves the use of antibiotics.  Antibiotics commonly prescribed to treat staph infections include certain cephalosporins such as cefazolin; nafcillin or oxacillin; vancomycin; daptomycin (Cubicin); telavancin (Vibativ); or linezolid (Zyvox). However, vancomycin is increasingly being needed to be used for severe infections due to this bacteria becoming increasingly resistant to the usual antibiotics.


Taking the following precautions can significantly reduce your risk of getting infected with this bacteria:

  • Thoroughly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Alternatively, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Wash them before and after preparing food, before and after using the bathroom, and before and after handling animal feces.
  • Keep all wounds covered and clean until they are fully healed.
  • Avoid leaving tampons in for too long, meaning over eight hours.
  • Avoid sharing items like towels, bed sheets, razors, clothes, and athletic equipment.
  • Wash clothes and bedding using hot water.


The cure for Staphylococcus aureus involves taking antibiotics to stamp out its presence within the body. The use of a combination of antibiotics can help very effectively, although this bacteria is becoming increasingly antibiotic-resistant.

How Alliance Enviro-Tech Can Help

Staphylococcus aureus is a potentially deadly bacterial infection that needs to be avoided to prevent highly uncomfortable and dangerous symptoms.

Alliance Enviro-Tech can disinfect both residential and commercial spaces thoroughly. Our Path-Guard® system and Path-Away Anti-Pathogenic Aerosol Solution® can kill Staphylococcus aureus, as well as other bacteria and viruses, in under five minutes, giving you peace of mind to know your place is a healthier space. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.