Category:Streptococcus species

From WikiVet English
Jump to navigation Jump to search


  • Cause suppurative infections in many different animals
  • Cause abscess formation and septicaemia
  • Cause mastitis, metritis, polyarthritis, meningitis
  • Primary or secondary infections following viral infection
  • Neonatal septicaemia related to maternal genital tract infection
  • Haemolytic streptococci of Lancefield group C are common inhabitants of the equine nasopharynx
  • Streptococcus zooepidemicus and S. equisimilis are usually non-pathogenic
  • Involved in peritonitis in pigs, pyothorax, osteomyelitis, catarrhal stomatitis
  • In infectious arthritis of sheep, arthritis in calves, arthritis in horses and arthritis in pigs
  • Often commensals on mucous membranes of upper respiratory and lower urogenital tract
  • Opportunistic infections


  • Gram positive cocci forming chains
  • Catalase negative, facultative anaerobes
  • Fastitidious - require enriched media such as blood or serum
  • Small haemolytic, translucent colonies, some mucoid
  • Catalase negative
  • Susceptible to desiccation


  • Beta haemolysis (complete with clear zones surrounding colonies)
  • Alpha haemolysis (partial with green zones surrounding colonies)
  • Lancefield grouping - serology based on group-specific polysaccharide in cell wall
  • Biochemical testing


  • Swabs of pus or exudate cultured on blood agar and MacConkey agar
  • No growth on MacConkey except S. faecalis
  • PCR, Lancefield grouping and biochemical tests

Pathogenesis and Pathogenicity

  • Beta-haemolytic strains more pathogenic than alpha-haemolytic strains
  • Virulence factors include streptolysins, hyaluronidase, DNase, streptokinase and proteases
  • S. pyogenes, S. pneumoniae and some strains of S. equi have polysaccharide capsules which are antiphagocytic
  • S. pyogenes and S. equi have antiphagocytic cell wall M proteins

in sheep

  • Streptococcus spp.
    • Commonly cause suppurative polyarthritis in lambs
    • Naval infection -> bacteriamia -> polyarthritis
      • May also cause blindness and nervous signs if uvea or meninges are affected
    • Larger joints are more afected
      • May spread to other organs

in cattle

  • Neonatal polyarthritis by:
      • Via umbilicus
      • Also involves eyes and meninges