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Post by jancancook on Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:08 am

A boil (or Furuncle) is a deep infective folliculitis (infection of the hair follicle). It is almost always caused by infection by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, resulting in a painful swollen area on the skin caused by an accumulation of pus and dead tissue.[1] Individual boils clustered together are called carbuncles.[2] Staphylococcus is a genus of bacteria that is characterized by being round (coccus or spheroid shaped), it is Gram-positive, and found as either single cells, in pairs, or more frequently, in clusters that resemble a bunch of grapes. The genus name Staphylococcus is derived from Greek terms ("staphyle and kokkos") that mean "a bunch of grapes," which is how the bacteria often appears microscopically (after Gram staining). In 1884, German physician Ottomar Rosenbach first described and named the bacteria. Two major divisions of the genus Staphylococcus are separated by the bacteria's ability to produce coagulase (an enzyme that can clot blood). Most human infections are caused by coagulase-positive S. aureus strains. Almost any organ system can be infected by S. aureus.

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