This Gram positive coccus is found as singles, pairs, and irregular, grape-like clusters. Cells are catalase positive and exhibit facultatively anaerobic metabolism. Able to use glucose oxidatively and fermentatively. Salt tolerant in media with NaCl concentrations up to 10%. Coagulase capable of clotting sheep serum is a definitive feature of this species. Growth occurs at temperatures between 10-40 C, with optimum growth occurring between 30-37 C. Isolated from a variety of habitats in humans and other warm-blooded animals. Most frequently associated with the mucous membranes of the nasal cavity. Can cause a host of skin infections, scalded-skin syndrome, pneumonia, meningitis, septicemia, endocarditis, and Toxic Shock Syndrome. Nosocomial infections with this microbe are common.
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