Staphylococcus aureus colonies on a blood agar plate. The name
means "golden sphere forming a bunch of grapes". Down right you can
see the grape-like aggregation of the cells under the microscope
Humans and most of the so-called "higher organisms" usually are living in harmony with the numerous microorganisms in their neighborhood. However, a few of them - comparable to human beings - can become under certain conditions vicious and extremely dangerous for their neighbors. In this case they are called pathogenic ("bringing harm"). Pathogenic microorganisms are always specialists that possess special pathogenic factors. Pathogenic infections often come along with weak resistance or immune defense of the host. Here we introduce several pathogenic microorgansims and their detection.
Staphylococcus aureus may provoke purulent infections as well as a produce toxins in food.