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Learning objectives

  • Identify the most common bacterial pathogens that cause infections of the skin and eyes
  • Compare the major characteristics of specific bacterial diseases affecting the skin and eyes

Despite the skin’s protective functions, infections are common. Gram-positive Staphylococcus spp. and Streptococcus spp. are responsible for many of the most common skin infections. However, many skin conditions are not strictly associated with a single pathogen. Opportunistic pathogens of many types may infect skin wounds, and individual cases with identical symptoms may result from different pathogens or combinations of pathogens.

In this section, we will examine some of the most important bacterial infections of the skin and eyes and discuss how biofilms can contribute to and exacerbate such infections. Key features of bacterial skin and eye infections are also summarized in the Disease Profile boxes throughout this section.

Staphylococcal infections of the skin

Staphylococcus species are commonly found on the skin, with S. epidermidis and S. hominis being prevalent in the normal microbiota. S. aureus is also commonly found in the nasal passages and on healthy skin, but pathogenic strains are often the cause of a broad range of infections of the skin and other body systems.

S. aureus is quite contagious. It is spread easily through skin-to-skin contact, and because many people are chronic nasal carriers (asymptomatic individuals who carry S. aureus in their nares), the bacteria can easily be transferred from the nose to the hands and then to fomites or other individuals. Because it is so contagious, S. aureus is prevalent in most community settings. This prevalence is particularly problematic in hospitals, where antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacteria may be present, and where immunocompromised patients may be more susceptible to infection. Resistant strains include methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), which can be acquired through health-care settings ( hospital-acquired MRSA , or HA-MRSA ) or in the community ( community-acquired MRSA , or CA-MRSA ). Hospital patients often arrive at health-care facilities already colonized with antibiotic-resistant strains of S. aureus that can be transferred to health-care providers and other patients. Some hospitals have attempted to detect these individuals in order to institute prophylactic measures, but they have had mixed success (see Eye on Ethics: Screening Patients for MRSA ).

When a staphylococcal infection develops, choice of medication is important. As discussed above, many staphylococci (such as MRSA) are resistant to some or many antibiotics. Thus, antibiotic sensitivity is measured to identify the most suitable antibiotic. However, even before receiving the results of sensitivity analysis, suspected S. aureus infections are often initially treated with drugs known to be effective against MRSA, such as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole ( TMP/SMZ ), clindamycin , a tetracycline ( doxycycline or minocycline ), or linezolid .

The pathogenicity of staphylococcal infections is often enhanced by characteristic chemicals secreted by some strains. Staphylococcal virulence factors include hemolysins called staphylolysins , which are cytotoxic for many types of cells, including skin cells and white blood cells. Virulent strains of S. aureus are also coagulase-positive, meaning they produce coagulase , a plasma-clotting protein that is involved in abscess formation. They may also produce leukocidins , which kill white blood cells and can contribute to the production of pus and Protein A, which inhibits phagocytosis by binding to the constant region of antibodies. Some virulent strains of S. aureus also produce other toxins, such as toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (see Virulence Factors of Bacterial and Viral Pathogens ).

Questions & Answers

fermented foods likely benefited ancestors to preserve foods and make other foods like milk, cheese, and bread using microbes.
Zinnia Reply
the evidence that I would support the statement regarding ancient people ideas that disease was transmitted by things they could not see is by the discoveries under a microscope. Many microbiologists have discovered certain diseases caused by microbes.
Zinnia
plz give the information about glyoxylate cycle
kamini Reply
what type of information?
Sapiens
I need medical microbiology mcqs books for Mbbs
Kisota
for pakistani mbbs or other?
Sapiens
what is microbial soup?
Osborn Reply
😃😂funny question isn't it?!!! sorry for inconvenience 😊
ayesha
most bacterial pathogens that cause disease in humans are classified in terms if their preferable ph as
Beesan Reply
what is micro
Kabul Reply
extremely small in size
Swetha
almost invisible to the naked eye
Peter
thanks
Sadiq
uwc
Peter
invisible sized objects
Sivasri
invisible sized object or specimens.which is used to see in only the microscope that specimens or objective called the micro
Sivasri
small organism that can be seen by use of Microbes
Manyang
why do you need to study microorganisms
Sala
what is microbiology?
Green Reply
microbiology is a branch of biology .it deals with the study of microorganisms life cycle , uses, disadvantages,and it impact in any other fields .which is used to view in microscope .
Sivasri
Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, those being unicellular, multicellular, or acellular. Microbiology encompasses numerous sub-disciplines including virology, bacteriology, protistology, mycology, immunology and parasitology. 
Raj
In short , it is the study of micro organisms and types , characteristics.
Kaviya
can you explain the structure of rna in detail
Dhanalakshmi Reply
RNA is of many types....like mRNA,tRNA,rRNA,snRNA,guideRNA..etc .
Swetha
but generally RNA is single stranded
Swetha
It contains adenine guanine cytosine , instead of thymine it contains uracil.
Swetha
ribonucleic acid present in RNA.. where as in DNA it is deoxyribonucleic acid...and ribonucleotide is present in RNA
Swetha
RNA is a blue print of DNA. it has the information from DNA....and we can predict the base panirs in DNA if we have the RNA....copy of that DNA
Swetha
can either have positive or negative polarity
Ernestine
Diatoms need..... With the help of which they can construct their beautiful cell wall
Prathmesh Reply
Microbial growth curve shows a.... Curve.
Shambhuraj Reply
diminishing curve
Oluwapamilerin
It represents the decreasing growth of an organism.
Swetha
what is meant by reverse isolation in tuberculosis treatment?
Swetha Reply
why do we study microbiology
HABIBA Reply
Microbiology is the way of gaining knowledge about those organisms which are surround us but we can't see them with our naked eye,such organisms called microorganisms..We can see them only under microscope.
ayesha
from our birth to death microorganisms are with us in the environment as well as on our body which are called Microflora.
ayesha
Microfloras are non pathogenic
ayesha
what is microbiology
Anji Reply
It is the study of microorganisms and their structures functions and their interactions with environment ...
Swetha
it is the study of microorganisms which are invisible to backed eye but we can see them under microscope then microbiology is the study of microorganisms including their structures , functions,and their interactions with environment
Swetha
tq
Anji
tqq...not backed eye sorry nacked eye
Swetha
it's ok
Anji
where r u from
Anji
thank you
Swetha
from India
Swetha
which state
Anji
Hyderabad .
Swetha
so telugu vosthadhi kadha
Anji
chelusu nakku kochum
Swetha
thank you
Swetha
what is reverse isolation in tuberculosis treatment?
Swetha
Reverse isolation is used to protect you from germs when your immune system is not working properly. Germs can be carried on droplets in the air, medical equipment, or another person's body or clothing.
Kaviya
will you repeat this again?
Swetha
Reverse isolationis used to protect you from germs when your immune system is not working properly. Germs can be carried on droplets in the air, medical equipment, or another person's body or clothing.
Kaviya
kill you?
Swetha
Y
Kaviya
nothing to see the whole answer that is why I sent u like that then only I can see the full answer la
Swetha
What is allosteric site?
Hetshree Reply
I don't know how to explain but it's a deep concave site of an enzyme it's slightly or more slightly similar to the active site on an enzyme
ayesha
a site other than enzyme active site
Muhammad
describe the gram staining procedure as used in identification and classification of bacteria and it's interpretation
tabitha Reply
Gram staining method found by Hans Christian Gram. Classified into Gram Positive and Gram Negative Positive would be purple or blue stained bacteria Negative would be Pink or Red stained bacteria Both are observed under microscope This procedure performed on glass slides by making a smear of sample.
ayesha
Thanks.. nicely u defined
shamim
jazakallah Khair
ayesha
hmmm
shamim
Masha allah
Khamis
jazakallah Khair
ayesha
hi
Nafiu
Heavy rains on Tuesday 21/1/20202 caused heavy floods on wednesday of 22/1/2020. Floods caused a lot of destruction including cut off of central corridor main road, property destruction and other problems including a single reported death. As a clinician you are asked to mention and explain 5 common health problems in all disasters.
Miryam Reply
Practice MCQ 4

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Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
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