Staphylococcus aureus is a common bacterium that is often found on the skin and in the nose and respiratory tract. It’s not always harmful, but it can cause food poisoning, sinusitis, and – infamously – skin infections that may lead to sores oozing a yellowish pus (this is responsible for the microbe’s more common name: golden staph).
First identified in 1880, S. aureus has become a problem for doctors around the world in recent decades with the rise of antibiotic-resistant strains that are invulnerable to almost all of medicine’s antimicrobial weapons.
Developing new antibiotics is an area of urgent research. One of the most promising avenues comes from a recent study that pinned down a particular S. aureus gene which may be responsible for increased virulence.
Curated content from the editorial staff at Cosmos Magazine.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.