A small-colony variant (SCV) of Staphylococcus aureus was cultured from a patient with a persistent wound infection (abscess and fistula) 13 months after herniotomy. The strain was nonhemolytic, nonpigmented and grew only anaerobically on Schaedler agar. As it was coagulase-negative, it was initially misidentified as a coagulase-negative Staphylococcus. In further analysis, however, the microorganism was shown to be an auxotroph that reverted to normal growth and morphology in the presence of menadione and hemin (Schaedler agar) and could be identified as a SCV of Staphylococcus aureus. Surgery and antibiotic treatment of the patient with flucloxacillin and rifampicin for 4 weeks resulted in healing of the chronic wound infection.