Staphylococcus saprophyticus- An Overview


Staphylococcus saprophyticus is a Gram-positive, coagulase-negative, non-hemolytic coccus that belongs to the genus Staphylococcus . It is a facultative anaerobe that can grow in different pH, osmolarity, and urea levels in urine . It is a part of the normal flora in humans and animals, colonizing the perineum, rectum, urethra, cervix, and gastrointestinal tract . It can also be found in environmental sources such as meat, dairy products, and marine waters .

Staphylococcus saprophyticus is an important cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs), especially in young sexually active females . It accounts for 10-20% of community-acquired UTIs and is the second most common uropathogen after Escherichia coli . It can also cause complications such as acute pyelonephritis, urethritis, epididymitis, and prostatitis . In rare cases, it can also cause bacteremia and sepsis.

Staphylococcus saprophyticus is different from other staphylococci by its resistance to novobiocin, a characteristic that is used for its identification . It also lacks the enzyme coagulase, which distinguishes it from Staphylococcus aureus . It has several virulence factors that enable it to adhere to uroepithelial cells, produce urease, form biofilms, and resist host defenses .

Staphylococcus saprophyticus was first isolated from humans by Shaw in 1951, and its association with UTIs was established by Torres Pereira in 1962. Since then, it has been recognized as a significant uropathogen that requires appropriate diagnosis and treatment. The treatment of choice for uncomplicated UTIs caused by S. saprophyticus is nitrofurantoin or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Prevention of UTIs caused by S. saprophyticus involves good hygiene practices, adequate hydration, and post-coital voiding.