The Genera Staphylococcus and Macrococcus

  • Friedrich Götz
  • Tammy Bannerman
  • Karl-Heinz Schleifer


The name Staphylococcus (staphyle, bunch of grapes) was introduced by Ogston (1883) for the group micrococci causing inflammation and suppuration. He was the first to differentiate two kinds of pyogenic cocci: one arranged in groups or masses was called “Staphylococcus” and another arranged in chains was named “Billroth’s Streptococcus.” A formal description of the genus Staphylococcus was provided by Rosenbach (1884). He divided the genus into the two species Staphylococcus aureus and S. albus. Zopf (1885) placed the mass-forming staphylococci and tetrad-forming micrococci in the genus Micrococcus. In 1886, the genus Staphylococcus was separated from Micrococcus by Flügge (1886). He differentiated the two genera mainly on the basis of their action on gelatin and on relation to their hosts. Staphylococci liquefied gelatin and were parasitic or pathogenic or both whereas micrococci were variable in their action on gelatin and were saprophytic. The genera Staphylococcus, Micrococcus...

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© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Friedrich Götz
  • Tammy Bannerman
  • Karl-Heinz Schleifer

There are no affiliations available

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