Describe gastroenteritis due to Staph aureus
Onset of symptoms?
Staphylococcus aureus produces illness indirectly via a specific enterotoxin. Patients present with rapid onset of symptoms, usually within 30-60 minutes of ingestion. Patients typically experience nausea and cramps followed by vomiting. Duration of symptoms is short, usually 24-48 hours. Since humans are the principal reservoir for Staphylococcus, uncooked foods that require extensive handling, such as salads, eggs, dressings and sandwich meat, are the most common sources. Staphylococcus aureus also causes dermatologic lesions, such as pustules and abscesses, which, when present on the skin of food handlers, can be a source of contamination. In addition, Staphylococcus aureus is present in cows; therefore, milk and cheese products that are not adequately refrigerated can also cause illness.