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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Multi-drug Resistant Organisms: MRSA, VRE, and Clostridium difficile. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Laboratory Identification of S. aureus

A clinical isolate is presumptively identified as S. aureus by means of several simple procedures:
Gram Stain: Gram-positive cocci, occurring singly, in pairs or "bunches of grapes"
Catalase test:Staphylococci are catalase-positive, distinguishes them from Streptococci which are catalase-negative.
Coagulase test:S. aureus is coagulase-positive.
DNAse TestS. aureus is DNAse-positive
Heat stable endonuclease – S. aureus is positive
There are also many commercial kits available for identification of S. aureus based on latex agglutination.