Last Updated on January 10, 2024
What is Staphylococcus Epidermidis?
Staphylococcus epidermidis is a bacterium that is commonly found on human skin and mucous membranes. While it generally lives in harmony with the human body, it is a significant cause of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in surgical wounds, the urinary tract, or bloodstream. Since S. epidermidis adheres well to plastic or metal, it can form colonies of bacteria that are resistant to immune system responses and antibiotics. S. epidermidis infection is primarily seen in individuals with indwelling medical devices such as catheters, transplanted heart valves, or artificial joints.
Preventing the Spread of Staphylococcus Epidermidis
If a hospital patient contracts an S. epidermidis infection in a wound, their sinus passages, or the bloodstream, the bacteria can be transmitted and infect others. These germs can enter the body of another individual through the hands, blood, cough secretion, wound secretion, skin contact, as well as through contact with contaminated objects and surfaces.
Our products use STER-L-RAY® Germicidal UV-C Lamps producing ultraviolet wavelengths at 254 nanometers, the region of germicidal effectiveness most destructive to harmful microorganisms including S. epidermidis. Germicidal Ultraviolet (UV-C) surface disinfection will inactivate these bacteria at the dosage listed below.
S. Epidermidis: Classification & UV-C Dose for Inactivation
Where does it colonize?
Where can it be found?
What can it infect?
How does it spread?
People at High Risk for a Staphylococcus Epidermidis Infection
Since S. epidermidis adheres well to plastic and metal surfaces, the following individuals are at high risk for an infection:
- People with indwelling medical devices (catheters, drains, medical prostheses, transplanted heart valves, pacemakers, and artificial joints)
- Dialysis patients
Possible Complications from an S. Epidermis Infection
S. epidermidis can cause several complications. If the infection passes into the bloodstream, it can cause an extreme reaction known as sepsis. It is the most frequent cause of sepsis contracted by hospital patients. In patients with prosthetic heart valves, Staphylococcus epidermidis can cause endocarditis (an inflammation of the heart’s inner lining). While S. epidermidis infections rarely develop into life-threatening diseases, their frequency — along with the fact that they are extremely difficult to treat — represents a serious burden for the public health system. The costs related to vascular catheter-related bloodstream infections caused by S. epidermidis amount to an estimated $2 billion annually in the United States alone.
Sources on Staphylococcus Epidermidis
The above information can be found on the following pages. Please read complete articles to learn more.
- NCBI: Staphylococcus epidermidis – the “accidental” pathogen
- Hygiene in Practice: Staphylococcus epidermidis
- Frontiers: Host Response to Staphylococcus epidermidis Colonization and Infections
- PubMed: S. epidermidis endocarditis and S. epidermidis infection in an intensive care unit
* Nominal germicidal UV dosage necessary to inactivate better than 99% of microorganism. See sources below.
- Myron Lupal, “UV Offers Reliable Disinfection”, Water Conditioning & Purification, November 1993.
Learn More & Shop Our Products to Inactivate Staphylococcus Epidermidis
Made in the USA from U.S. and imported parts, the UV Air & Surface Disinfection product lines from Atlantic Ultraviolet Corporation® are constructed of the highest quality materials and use germicidal UV-C lamps to disinfect air and surfaces, inactivating microorganisms like S. epidermidis.
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