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Morphology Gram-positive cocci, usually occurs in clusters, nonspore forming, non-motile, coagulase positive, facultative anaerobes.

Toxic shock syndrome, food poisoning, intoxication, impetigo.


Yes, indirect and direct contact with infected animals, especially cows.

Health Hazards
Host Range Humans and Animals.
Modes of Transmission  Ingestion of food containing enterotoxins, contact with nasal carriers, contact with draining lesions or purulent discharges, also spread by person-to-person contact; Indirectly by contact with fomites, Indirectly or directly by contact with infected animals.
Signs and Symptoms  Accidental ingestion: Violent onset of severe nausea, cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea if preformed enterotoxin is present. Surface infections: Impetigo, follicutis, abscesses, boils, infected lacerations. Systemic infections: onset of fever, headache, myalgia, can progress to endocarditis, meningitis, septic arthritis, pneumonia, osteomyelitis, sepsis.
Infectious Dose Virulence varies for different strains.
Incubation Period  30 minutes to 8 hours when consuming contaminated food with enterotoxin. Otherwise, typically 4 to 10 days. Disease may not occur until several months after colonization of mucosal surfaces.
Medical Precautions/Treatment
Prophylaxis Hand-hygiene; Elimination of nasal carriage by using topical mupirocin. Mupirocin also eliminates transient hand carriage by eliminating the mucosal reservoir.
Vaccines None available
Treatment Incision and drainage for localized skin infections; antibiotic therapy for severe infections; Many strains resistant to antibiotics; Sensitivity must be determined for each strain.
Surveillance Monitor for signs of food poisoning when ingestion occurs. Monitor for skin inflammation; isolation of organism from wound, blood, CSF or urine.
MSU Requirements  Report any exposures
Laboratory Hazards
Laboratory Acquired Infections (LAIs) 29 reported cases up to 1973 with 1 death. Most common cause of laboratory infection was accidental self-exposure via the mucous membranes by touching contaminated hands to face or eyes.
 Sources Contaminated food, blood, abscesses, lesion exudates, CFS, respiratory specimen, feces, and urine. Cultures, frozen stocks, other samples described in IBC protocol.
Supplemental References
Canadian MSDS:
NIH Guidelines
Risk Group & Containment Requirements 
Risk Group 2

Agents that are associated with human disease which is rarely serious and for which preventive or therapeutic interventions are often available.

For all procedures involving suspected or known infectious specimen or cultures.
For all procedures utilizing infected animals.
Spill Procedures
Notify others working in the lab. Remove PPE and don new PPE. Cover area of the spill with absorbent material and add fresh 1:10 bleach:water. Allow 20 munutes (or as directed) of contact time. After 20 minutes, cleanup and dispose of materials.
  • Immediately notify all personnel in the lab and clear all personnel from the area. Remove any contaminated PPE/clothing and leave the lab. 
  • Secure the area by locking doors, posting signage and guarding the area to keep people out of the space. 
For assistance, contact MSU's Biosafety Officer (406-994-6733) or Safety and Risk Management (406-994-2711).
Exposure Procedures
Mucous membrane
Flush eyes, mouth, or nose for 5 minutes at eyewash station.
Other Exposures
Wash area with soap and water for 5 minutes.
Immediately report incident to supervisor, complete a First Report of Injury form, and submit to Safety and Risk Management.
Medical Follow-up
During business hours: Bridger Occupational Health 3406 Laramie Drive. Weekdays 8am -6pm.  Weekends 9am-5pm
After business hours: Bozeman Deaconess Hospital Emergency Room 915 Highland Blvd Bozeman, MT
Disinfection Susceptible to 1:10 bleach:water, 70 % ethanol and 2 % gluteraldehyde, chlorohexadine, formaldehyde, and 0.25 % benzalkonium chloride.
Inactivation Inactivated by moist heat (15 minutes at 121°C) and dry heat (1 hour at 160-170° C).
Survival Outside Host Carcass and organs – 42 days; Skin – 30 minutes to 38 days; meat products – 60 days; floor – less than 7 days; glassware – 46 hours; sunlight – 17 days; UV light – 7 hours.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Minimum PPE Requirements
Lab coat, disposable gloves, safety glasses, closed toed shoes, long pants
Additional Precautions
Additioanl PPE may be required depending on lab specific SOPs and IBC Protocol.