is a gram-positive, beta hemolytic, catalase and coagulase positive organism that commonly colonizes the nares. It produces toxic shock syndrome toxin, exfoliative toxin, and enterotoxin. These cause toxic shock syndrome, scalded skin syndrome, and rapid-onset food poisoning, respectively. The inflammatory diseases it produces include skin infections, organ abscesses
, septic arthritis
, and osteomyelitis
. Methicillin-resistant Staph. aureus
is an important cause of serious nosocomial and community-acquired infections and has altered penicillin-binding proteins that make it immune to most first-line therapies.