Infective Abstracts

A single blue MRSA colony

A single blue MRSA colony

An abstract "bunch of grapes" made by the growth of MRSA

An abstract “bunch of grapes” made by the growth of MRSA

An abstract bunch of grapes, revealed when the growth of MRSA has been scraped away to reveal its interaction with the media beneath it.

An abstract bunch of grapes, revealed when the growth of MRSA has been scraped away to reveal its interaction with the media beneath it. It leaves behind a blue residue.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium that is responsible for a number of difficult-to-treat infections in humans. This spontaneous work was inspired by the isolation of two strains of MRSA in Practical and Biomedical Bacteriology by two of our students.

Alexander Ogston (1844-1929) was a Scottish surgeon who in 1880 discovered the major cause of pus, that is the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. He opened an abscess on one of his patients, made a stained smear of the released pus, and examined it under a microscope. On peering down the eyepiece he exclaimed:

“My delight may be conceived when there were revealed to me beautiful tangles, tufts and chains of round organisms in great numbers, which stood out clear and distinct among the pus cells and debris…”. Later Ogston named the clustered spherical bacterial cells “staphylococci,” from the Greek staphyle, meaning a bunch of grapes.

Above then is a little bit of  MRSA art, an abstract bunch of grapes made by the growth of MRSA itself.

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