This organism stains positive on Gram stain due to thick peptidoglycan layer which absorbs crystal violet.
This bacterium has a spherical shape.
Characteristically, Staph saprophyticus is catalase-positive, meaning it produces the enzyme catalase. This enzyme allows the bacterium to convert hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen. This characteristic is helpful in distinguishing Staphylococci from catalase-negative Streptococci and Enterococci.
Staph saprophyticus can be differentiated from other Staphylococcal organisms, such as Staph aureus, because Staph aureus is coagulase-positive, while Staph saprophyticus is coagulase-negative.
Staphylococcus saprophyticus can be differentiated from Staphylococcus epidermidis, which is also catalase-positive, coagulase-negative, by resistance to novobiocin.
This bacteria has the ability to produce urease, which hydrolizes urea in the body to ammonia. In a urinary tract infection, this means that the urine becomes more alkaline.
A urinary tract infection commonly presents with symptoms of burning sensation during urination, and increased frequency and urgency with sharp razor pains in the lower abdomen. This organism is implicated in about 10-20% of urinary tract infections, second only to E. coli. It is often called “honeymooner's UTI” due to association with intercourse.
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