Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: staphylo-, staphyl-

MRSA Bacteria
This scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depictes numerous clusters of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, commonly referred to by the acronym, MRSA. Credit: CDC/ Janice Haney Carr/Jeff Hageman, M.H.S.

Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: staphylo-, staphyl-


The prefix (staphylo- or staphyl-) refers to shapes that resemble clusters, as in a bunch of grapes. It also refers to the uvula, a mass of tissue that hangs from the back of the soft palate.


Staphyledema (staphyl-edema) - swelling of the uvula caused by the accumulation of fluid.

Staphylectomy (staphyl-ectomy) - surgical removal of the uvula.

Staphylea (staphyl-ea) - a genus of flowering plants with flowers that hang from stalked clusters.

Staphylococcus (staphylo-coccus) - spherical shaped parasitic bacterium usually occurring in grape-like clusters. Some species of these bacteria, such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), have developed resistance to antibiotics.

Staphyloderma (staphylo-derma) - skin infection of staphylococcus bacteria that is characterized by the production of pus.

Staphyloma (staphylo-ma) - protrusion or bulging of the cornea or sclera (outer covering of the eye) caused by inflammation.

Staphyloncus (staphyl-oncus) - a uvular tumor or swelling of the uvula.

Staphyloplasty (staphylo-plasty) - surgical operation to repair the soft palate and or uvula.

Staphyloptosis (staphylo-ptosis) - elongation or relaxation of the soft palate or uvula.

Staphylorrhaphy (staphylo-rrhaphy) - surgical procedure to repair a cleft palate.

Staphyloschisis (staphylo-schisis) - a split or cleft of the uvula and or soft palate.

Staphylotoxin (staphylo-toxin) - a poisonous substance produced by staphylococcus bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus produce toxins that destroy blood cells and cause food poisoning.

Staphyloxanthin (staphylo-xanthin) - a pigment found in Staphylococcus aureus that causes these bacteria to appear yellow.