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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Case Studies in Clinical Microbiology. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Staphylococcus aureus Mannitol

  • The ability to grow in 6.5% NaCl and to produce acid from mannitol was once considered sufficient to identify S. aureus.
  • Although other Staphylococcus species have these characteristics, mannitol salt agar, as shown here, can still be used for epidemiologic studies in suspected cases of S. aureus outbreaks.
  • As shown in the image, the presence of colonies indicates the ability to grow on 6.5% NaCl; and, the yellow pigment of the colonies indicates acid production from mannitol.