Staphylococcus epidermidis

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Staphylococcus epidermidis/epidermis
Scanning electron image of S. epidermidis.
Scanning electron image of S. epidermidis.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Firmicutes
Class: Cocci
Order: Bacillales
Family: Staphylococcaceae
Genus: Staphylococcus
Species: S. epidermidis
Binomial name
Staphylococcus epidermidis
(Winslow & Winslow 1908)
Evans 1916

Staphylococcus epidermidis is a member of the bacterial genus Staphylococcus, consisting of Gram-positive cocci arranged in clusters. It is catalase-positive and coagulase-negative and occurs frequently on the skin of humans and animals and in mucous membranes.It is sensitive to the antibiotic Novobiocin; a feature that distinguishes it from the other common coagulase negative organism Staph. saprophyticus. Due to contamination, S. epidermidis is probably the most common species found in laboratory tests.

Although S. epidermidis is usually non-pathogenic, it is an important cause of infection in patients whose immune system is compromised, or who have indwelling catheters. Many strains produce a slime (biofilm) that allows them to adhere to the surfaces of medical prostheses.

S. epidermidis is often resistant to a wide variety of antibiotics, including penicillin and methicillin.

Colonies of S. epidermidis are typically small, white or beige, approximately 1-2 mm in diameter after overnight incubation. The organism is sensitive to desferrioxamine, and this test is used to distinguish it from almost all other staphylococci. Staphylococcus hominis, which is also sensitive, produces acid from trehalose, so it can usually be distinguished from S. epidermidis.

The normal practice of detecting S.epidermidis is by using the Baird Parker agar with egg yolk supplement. Colonies appeared in small, black colonies while confirmation can be done using coagulase test.


Antimicrobial therapy

  • Staphylococcus epidermidis[1]
  • 1. Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus epidermidis
  • 2. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis
  • Note: For deep-seated infections consider adding Gentamicin with or without Rifampin 600 mg/day PO qd to the regimen[3]
  • 3. Prosthetic device infections

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  1. Gilbert, David (2015). The Sanford guide to antimicrobial therapy. Sperryville, Va: Antimicrobial Therapy. ISBN 978-1930808843.
  2. Gilbert, David (2015). The Sanford guide to antimicrobial therapy. Sperryville, Va: Antimicrobial Therapy. ISBN 978-1930808843.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Baddour LM, Wilson WR, Bayer AS, Fowler VG, Bolger AF, Levison ME; et al. (2005). "Infective endocarditis: diagnosis, antimicrobial therapy, and management of complications: a statement for healthcare professionals from the Committee on Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis, and Kawasaki Disease, Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young, and the Councils on Clinical Cardiology, Stroke, and Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia, American Heart Association: endorsed by the Infectious Diseases Society of America". Circulation. 111 (23): e394–434. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.105.165564. PMID 15956145.