Flesh Eating Bacteria: nom…nom (Warning graphic pictures)

So many of you might have had a staph infection before, or at least most of us had at least once had a hair follicle infection, you know the ones..the little red bumps at the base of your hair follicle that get a little tender.  But how many of you knew that the bacteria which lives commonly on our skin is actually a variety of staphylococcus bacteria…the flesh eating bacteria?  Group A staphylococcus bacteria can cause mild infections to toxic shock syndrome or even  necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating disease).  Sounds like something out of a zombie movie right?  The pictures below are not for the faint of heart!  More strains of antibiotic resistant staphylococcus are popping up.  This means that we have less and less ways to treat these cases of flesh eating diseases or toxic shock syndrome.

First the culprit a gram positive non spore forming bacteria:

Streptococcus pyogenes from blogs.iwcc.edu

15% of all people harbor this bacteria on their skin!  They also have a coating of hyaluronic acid (a chemical involved in connective tissue in your body) covering their cell wall so your body can’t detect them easily to fight off infection!!

Necrotizing Fasciitis:

This is a disease characterized by the necrosis (death) of tissue.  The bacteria secretes an exotoxin called hyaluronidase which dissolves the body’s connective tissues allowing it to eat them. Its most common in diabetics, alcoholics, immuno suppressant patients, drug users but can still occur in normal healthy individuals. The tissue damage can occur anywhere on the body and even internally but will depend mostly on which variety of the bacteria you catch.




Toxic Shock Syndrome:

This can cause fever, rashes, and trouble with body systems.  It seems to present itself as having a high fever, confusion, low blood pressure, and rashes.  It can even lead to patients falling into a coma or just dying.  The rash that occurs tends to look like an awful sunburn and then peels off later if you survive.  It tends to cover any region of the body.   Typically the source of the infection is drained and cut away.  This definitely requires hospitalization.


Posted on June 9, 2010, in Medicine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. My gosh… That’s terrifying. You should warn fellow man kind about that on my zombie website….

  2. I couldn’t read the article in full because of the photos – I think they’re going to give me nightmares!

  3. Very nice information.

  4. Great post. If you don’t already you could think about sending your news posts to reddit – I think that community should appreciate your content; also if you’re lucky it’ll mean more visitors.

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