Diabetes & Staphylococci

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Staphylococci are a type of round shaped bacteria that change colour when stained with Gram stain (so they are known as Gram-positive bacteria). Staphylococci are found on your skin and in your mucous membrane where they are mostly harmless, forming part of your normal bacterial flora in and on your body. However, they can also cause a range of human diseases including MRSA and food poisoning and the main disease causing (or pathogenic) type of staphylococci is known as Staphylococcus aureus. If you are diabetic then you will probably have a larger number of Staphylococcus aureus living on your skin and in your nasal passages compared to non-diabetics. If you have frequent foot infection then you will probably find that most of them are caused by Staphylococcus aureus. This is because your diabetic immune system and high blood sugar levels prevents you from fighting the Staphylococcus aureus infection as well as non-diabetics can. Due to the high risk of foot infections from Staphylococci, you must be particularly vigilant in checking your feet for any injury that could allow Staphylococcus aureus access into your skin where it could cause an infection.    

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