Streptococcus - WatsonsHealth


Streptococcus is a group of gram-positive bacteria that belongs to the genus Streptococcus, some of which cause diseases. Streptococci are spherical and divide with fission, but they continue to be attached and so develop in beadlike chains. The occurrence and severity of streptococcal diseases reduced dramatically after the introduction of antibiotics like erythromycin, penicillin, and selected cephalosporins, however still there are many extreme streptococcal infections and the emergence of more drug-resistant strains.

Streptococci are classified into the alpha, beta, or gamma groups, based on their mode of action on blood cells.

Vaccination against pneumococcal pneumonia is recommended for very young children and older persons; the vaccine inoculates against the most familiar strains of S. pneumoniae.

There are two types: group A and group B. The different types of streptococcal infections include the following:

Group A streptococcal infections:

  • Strep throat – a sore, red throat. Your tonsils may be swollen and have white spots on them.
  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • Scarlet fever – an illness that follows strep throat. It causes a red rash on the body.
  • Impetigo – a skin infection
  • Necrotizing fasciitis and cellulitis

Group B streptococcal infections:

  • Blood infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Meningitis in newborns
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Skin infections


Symptoms vary, depending on where the infection is:

  • Cellulitis: The infected skin turns red, and the tissue at the bottom of it swells, resulting in pain.
  • Impetigo: Usually, scabby, yellow-crusted sores form.
  • Necrotizing fasciitis: The connective tissue that covers muscle (fascia) is infected. People have sudden chills, fever, and severe pain and tenderness in the affected area. The skin may appear normal until infection is severe.
  • Strep throat (pharyngitis): This infection usually occurs in children 5 to 15 years old. The throat becomes sore. Children may also have chills, fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and a general feeling of illness (malaise). The throat is beefy red, and the tonsils are swollen, with or without patches of pus. Lymph nodes in the neck are usually enlarged and tender.
  • Scarlet fever: A rash appears first on the face, then spreads to the trunk and limbs. The rash feels like coarse sandpaper. The rash is worse in skinfolds, such as the crease between the legs and the trunk. As the rash fades, the skin peels. Red bumps develop on the tongue, which is coated with a yellowish white film. Then it peels, and the tongue shows beefy red.


  • For strep throat, fast tests and/or culture of a sample taken from the throat
  • For cellulitis and impetigo, usually a doctor’s evaluation
  • For necrotizing fasciitis, an imaging test, culture, and often exploratory surgery
  • Different streptococcal diseases are diagnosed differently.



  • Antibiotics (usually penicillin)
  • In patients with necrotizing fasciitis, commonly surgery is used to remove dead tissue



  • Penicillin or amoxicillin
  • Long-lasting penicillin (benzathine)
  • Erythromycin, clarithromycin, azithromycin or clindamycin
  • Acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

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