By UCHE AKOLISA |
Staphylococcus Aureus, a silent menace or over-hyped concept?
You hear drug peddlers in commercial buses chant it. By the road sides, who mount loud speakers bellow the high sounding name, “Staphylococcus Aureus.” They blame the bacteria which they call ‘staph’ for short for all sorts of woes including back pains, internal heat, low ejaculation, absence of menstrual flow, infertility. You shake your head in amusement but could not help wondering whether they are actually correct about the link of staph to infertility. You ask and are shocked to hear an expert and Consultant Gynaecologist at Lagos UniversityTeaching Hospital, Dr Ayodeji Oluwole, confirms it.
“You can have it and you don’t know that you have it. So it can be in the body for 5 10, 20 years and gradually damaging the testes,” Dr Oluwole said.
Staphylococcus Aureus is a gram positive bacteria that lives in certain parts of the body such as the nose, mouth, intestine and skin. Staph Aureus causes skin infections, such as boils, pimples and abscesses. A subject of controversy between medics, it is known to cause pneumonia and food poisoning but some health experts blame it for infertility.
A gynaecologist and MD, Living Spring Hospital, Lagos, Dr Akinde believed staph is over-hyped. Akinde who noted that staph aureus is not sexually transmitted. said that it exists in these places without causing problem.
“People are making a hell of noise to deceive the uninformed public that it (staph) is the cause of their problem. It is not. A large portion of staph aureus is found in the nostrils. We also know that the Staph Aureus is found 2 or 3 metres of the male urinary tract without causing any symptoms. Staph is like a commence. A commencer is an organism that occurs in certain parts of the body, does no harm to these parts of the body but it helps to ward off invaders.
“As long as it remains in certain parts of the body, it does no harm but when it escapes from its normal territory to other areas where it does not exist, it can cause disease. For instance, if it escapes from the nasal cavity to the throat, it could cause meningitis or tonsillitis. If it escapes into your lungs, it could cause pneumonia.”
The Centre for Disease Prevention and Control(CDC) Staphylococcus aureus corroborated Akinde ‘s position that for most part, staph does not cause any harm. However, it states that sometimes it causes infections some of which could be serious or fatal. Such infections include: Bacteremia (blood poisoning); pneumonia, which affects mostly people with underlying lung disease or those on mechanical ventilators; endocarditis (infection of the heart valves), which can lead to heart failure or stroke; osteomyelitis (bone infection).
Some traditional medicine experts have fingered Staphylococcus Aureus for opportunistic infections and some cases of infertility especially sexually transmitted disease- related cases.
An Alternative Medicine practitioner, Dr Godwin Ihesie noted that staph aureus has been found present in diagnosis of some sexually transmitted infections-linked to infertility. “One of the major routes throughn which bacteria cause infertility is through inflammation of the pelvis in women though it is not the singular cause of the pelvic infection,” Ihesie argued.
Staph Aureus infections can be treated with antibiotics. However, the infection has been found to be increasingly difficult to treat because of the development of resistance to pencillin-related antibiotics forcing many Nigerian sufferers to resort to alternative medicine.
The Medical resource site, Medlineplus, states, “The best way to prevent staph is to keep hands and wounds clean.