Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is a viral infection of the skin or occasionally of the mucous membranes. MC has no animal reservoir, infecting only humans, as did smallpox. However, there are different pox viruses that infect many other mammals. The infecting human MC virus is a DNA poxvirus called the molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV). There are 4 types of MCV, MCV-1 to -4, with MCV-1 being the most prevalent and MCV-2 seen usually in adults and often sexually transmitted. About one in six young are infected at some time with MC. The infection is most common in children aged one to ten years old. MC affects any area of the skin but is most common on the body, arms, and legs. It is spread through direct contact or shared articles of clothing (including towels).
In adults, molluscum infections are often sexually transmitted and usually affect the genitals, lower abdomen, buttocks, and inner thighs. In rare cases, molluscum infections are also found on the lips, mouth, and eyelids.
The time from infection to the appearance of lesions ranges from 2 week to 6 months, with an average incubation period of 6 weeks. Diagnosis is made on the clinical appearance; the virus cannot routinely be cultured.
Scabies is caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei, variety hominis, as shown by the Italian biologist Diacinto Cestoni in the 18th century. It produces intense, itchy skin rashes when the impregnated female tunnels into the stratum corneum of the skin and deposits eggs in the burrow. The larvae, which hatch in 3-10 days, move about on the skin, molt into a "nymphal" stage, and then mature into adult mites. The adult mites live 3-4 weeks in the host's skin.
The action of the mites moving within the skin and on the skin itself produces an intense itch which may resemble an allergic reaction in appearance. The presence of the eggs produces a massive allergic response which, in turn, produces more itching.
Scabies is transmitted readily, often throughout an entire household, by skin-to-skin contact with an infected person (e.g. bed partners, schoolmates, daycare), and thus is sometimes classed as a sexually transmitted disease. Spread by clothing, bedding, or towels is a less significant risk, and is almost impossible.
Staphylococcus aureus, literally "Golden Cluster Seed" and also known as golden staph is the most common cause of staph infections. It is a spherical bacterium, frequently found in the nose and skin of a person. About 20% of the population are long-term carriers of S. aureus. Staphylococcus aureus can cause a range of illnesses from minor skin infections, such as pimples, impetigo (may also be caused by Streptococcus pyogenes), boils, cellulitis folliculitis, furuncles, carbuncles, scalded skin syndrome and abscesses, to life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, osteomyelitis endocarditis, Toxic shock syndrome (TSS), and septicemia. Its incidence is from skin, soft tissue, respiratory, bone, joint, endovascular to wound infections. It is still one of the four most common causes of nosocomial infections, often causing postsurgical wound infections. Abbreviated to S. aureus or Staph aureus in medical literature, S. aureus should not be confused with the similarly named (and also medically relevant) species of the genus Streptococcus.
S. aureus was discovered in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1880 by the surgeon Sir Alexander Ogston in pus from surgical abscesses. Each year some 500,000 patients in American hospitals contract a staphylococcal infection.S. aureus infections can be spread through contact with pus from an infected wound, skin-to-skin contact with an infected person by producing hyaluronidase that destroy tissues, and contact with objects such as towels, sheets, clothing, or athletic equipment used by an infected person.