A genus of spherical or oval bacteria
that grow in pairs or bead-like chains. Although some species of streptococci
are harmless, others are responsible for many common infections, including
strep throat, tonsillitis,
scarlet fever, impetigo,
cellulitis, erysipelas, and puerperal
fevers. A related organism is a common cause of pneumonia
and one type may cause endocarditis
in damaged heart valves.
|70,000X magnification electron micrograph of an ultra-thin
section of Streptococcus pyogenes. Image source: Dr. Vincent
A. Fischetti, Rockefeller University
is the antibiotic of choice.
Rheumatic fever and Bright's
disease are late immune responses to Streptococcus.
• HEALTH AND DISEASE