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The genus Streptococcus includes important pathogens that are categorized in serological Lancefield groups based on the distinguishing characteristics of their surface carbohydrates. The most clinically important streptococcal species in humans is S. pyogenes , also known as group A streptococcus (GAS) . S. pyogenes produces a variety of extracellular enzymes, including streptolysins O and S, hyaluronidase , and streptokinase . These enzymes can aid in transmission and contribute to the inflammatory response. Starr, C.R. and Engelberg N.C. “Role of Hyaluronidase in Subcutaneous Spread and Growth of Group A Streptococcus.” Infection and Immunity 2006(7:1): 40–48. doi: 10.1128/IAI.74.1.40-48.2006. S. pyogenes also produces a capsule and M protein , a streptococcal cell wall protein. These virulence factors help the bacteria to avoid phagocytosis while provoking a substantial immune response that contributes to symptoms associated with streptococcal infections.

S. pyogenes causes a wide variety of diseases not only in the skin, but in other organ systems as well. Examples of diseases elsewhere in the body include pharyngitis and scarlet fever , which will be covered in later chapters.

Cellulitis, erysipelas, and erythema nosodum

Common streptococcal conditions of the skin include cellulitis, erysipelas, and erythema nodosum. An infection that develops in the dermis or hypodermis can cause cellulitis , which presents as a reddened area of the skin that is warm to the touch and painful. The causative agent is often S. pyogenes , which may breach the epidermis through a cut or abrasion, although cellulitis may also be caused by staphylococci. S. pyogenes can also cause erysipelas , a condition that presents as a large, intensely inflamed patch of skin involving the dermis (often on the legs or face). These infections can be suppurative , which results in a bullous form of erysipelas. Streptococcal and other pathogens may also cause a condition called erythema nodosum , characterized by inflammation in the subcutaneous fat cells of the hypodermis. It sometimes results from a streptococcal infection, though other pathogens can also cause the condition. It is not suppurative, but leads to red nodules on the skin, most frequently on the shins ( [link] ).

In general, streptococcal infections are best treated through identification of the specific pathogen followed by treatment based upon that particular pathogen’s susceptibility to different antibiotics. Many immunological tests, including agglutination reactions and ELISA s, can be used to detect streptococci. Penicillin is commonly prescribed for treatment of cellulitis and erysipelas because resistance is not widespread in streptococci at this time. In most patients, erythema nodosum is self-limiting and is not treated with antimicrobial drugs. Recommended treatments may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), cool wet compresses, elevation, and bed rest.

a) a red rash. B) swollen, red regions on the cheeks and nose. C) red lumps on the skin.
S. pyogenes can cause a variety of skin conditions once it breaches the skin barrier through a cut or wound. (a) Cellulitis presents as a painful, red rash. (b) Erysipelas presents as a raised rash, usually with clear borders. (c) Erythema nodosum is characterized by red lumps or nodules, typically on the lower legs. (credit a: modification of work by “Bassukas ID, Gaitanis G, Zioga A, Boboyianni C, Stergiopoulou C; credit b: modification of work by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; credit c: modification of work by Dean C, Crow WT)

Questions & Answers

characteristic of Gram negative bacteria
jane Reply
Characteristics of Gram Negative Bacteria As with Gram positive bacteria, Gram negative bacteria also contain the peptidoglycan polymer in their cell wall. While this polymer is thin (2 to 4 nanometers in thickness with just about 3 layers of peptidoglycan) in Gram negative bacteria, it's also com
it's also composed of long glycan strands that are cross-linked by peptide molecules. This composition serves a number of functions including protecting the bacterial cell from lysis
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what was Hans Christian Gram's supported in the modern Microbiology?
Wilson Reply
what is microbial growth
Chisa Reply
The organism responsible for vulva ulcers
nyiter Reply
Why are vascular pathogen poorly communicable from person to person?
Aj Reply
Most vascular pathogens are poorly communicable from person to person because they need a medium to be communicated i,e a vector that would carry them from one person to other
what's the habit of protista
Afieahngwi Reply
They show both autotrophic and heterotrophic mechanisms...
let me mention some water. Air .Food and so on
Gattiek Reply
causes of infectious diseases
Afieahngwi Reply
infectious disease are caused by pathogenic micro organisms like bacteria ,fungi..
What is pasteurization?
are fungi prokaryote or eukaryotes?
Afieahngwi Reply
fungi are eukaryotes.
All fungi are eukaryotes. Even micro fungi.
have..complex cellular organization and membrane bound nucleus ...and..also... having loops of DNA( like plasmids) as.bacteria
what enzyme replaces rna nucleotides with dna nucleotides during replication?
Remi Reply
an enzyme called DNA ligase.
describe the acid fast staining procedure used in the diagnosis of tuberculosis
Salma Reply
bacterial morphology
lf_ Reply
what is the difference between biogenesis & abiogenesis
Mayuri Reply
biogenesis is when living comes out from other living things as a result of reproduction while a biogenesis is the process where living things comes out from non living things
living things come form other form living things is biogenesis. ....right?
what is mean by pasturation method?
Mayuri Reply
Pasteurization is a process that kills harmful bacteria and creates an extended shelf life for your milk. ... It's pretty simple—we take the milk from the cows, we rapidly heat it to a high enough temperature to kill the bacteria, and then we cool it back down before packaging and shipping it to you
tell me about abiogenessis &biogenesis
discribe aristol spontaneous generation theory in brif
Mayuri Reply
The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 BC) was one of the earliest recorded scholars to articulate the theory of spontaneous generation, the notion that life can arise from nonliving matter. Aristotle proposed that life arose from nonliving material if the material contained pneuma (“vital heat”).
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Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
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