Streptococcus bacteria are commonly found in human throat, mouth and in respiratory tract. It spreads easily in air and is responsible for sore throat, fever and sometimes pneumonia. This is a gram positive bacterium. It contains pathogenic and commensal bacteria.
Streptococcus bacteria are found in many hosts like human, pigs, cows, horses etc. though they reside in mouth and respiratory organs only, sometimes they may also found in skin, heart and muscle tissues.
The pathogenic streptococci in man cause various diseases like sore throat, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever etc. They are divided into groups. Group A streptococci is a pus producing bacteria in wound. Group B streptococci are responsible for neonatal diseases. This type of bacterium is also found in female reproductive organs and may cause premature rupture of membranes. The bacteria can be easily transmitted to the baby and may also cause some infections. Therefore pregnant women in the gestation period of 35 to 37 weeks need to diagnose for Group B streptococci bacteria.
Group C causes infection in animals particularly in horses. Strangles in horses is caused by Group c streptococcus bacteria. It is an upper respiratory track infection most common in horses all over the world. This bacterium is highly contagious. Group c bacteria also cause death in chicken and moose.
Group D Bacteria or Enterococcus bacteria are found in human. In some rare cases it may cause neurological infections.
Hemolytic streptococcus can be classified as Alpha hemolytic streptococci and Beta hemolytic streptococci. Alpha hemolytic streptococci are responsible for pneumonia which is an inflammatory illness in lungs. Streptococcus pneumonic bacteria are found in the nose and mouth of even healthy people. It can affect any one irrespective of age. However it will not affect new born babies.
This type of bacterium also causes meningitis which affects the nervous system. Meningitis will cause more infections, physical injuries. If you leave it untreated it may cause even death. Empiric antibodies must be given to the infected person immediately.
Some diseases caused by Streptococcus bacteria are as follows;
Sore throat, fever, postpartum fever and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome are some of the diseases caused by this bacterium. Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome is the serious infection caused by this bacterium. It may cause low blood pressure, kidney problems, liver and lung infections and shock. As this bacterium progresses fast it may cause more infection before diagnosis.
Group B streptococci cause dreadful diseases in pregnant women and new born babies. Elderly adults are also affected by this bacterium. This bacterium will not show any symptom in the body in the initial stage. However it is dangerous if it enters the blood stream. Pneumonia is also caused by Group B streptococci only. But it is controllable through vaccine.
Streptococci will also be found in gastrointestinal tract. The risk of getting this disease is higher in women. Pregnant women need to diagnose for this bacterium since it can be easily transmitted to the infants.
Medicine for streptococci: Antibiotics and vaccines are developed to control streptococcus bacteria. Enthromycin and penicillin have highest resistance capacity against this bacterium. However early treatment by giving antibiotics can help control the diseases.