Streptococcus pyogenes

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Streptococcus pyogenes is a spherical Gram-positive bacterium around 0.6-1.0 µm in diameter, which is enclosed in a capsule and exists in pairs or in chains. It is a non-motile, facultative organism where its metabolism allows it to grow in the presence and absence of oxygenPyogenic streptococci are beta-haemolytic and so subsequently cause complete lysis of red blood cells in blood agar, making them clear and colourless. They produce a large number of enzymes and toxins which contribute to the invasion and pathogenesis of infections that Streptococcus pyogenes causes [1] [2].

They are most commonly found in the oral cavity and from the throat they are able to spread infection elsewhere.


  1. Folds, J. D. and Normansell, D. E. (1999) Pocket Guide to Clinic Immunology. Washington, D.C.: American Society for Microbiology
  2. Sleigh, J. D. and Timbury, M. C. (1998) Notes on Medical Bacteriology. 5th ed. New York: Churchill Livingstone.

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