A Tribute to Nick Short

It is with extreme sadness that we share the news that one of WikiVet’s founders, Nick Short, has passed away.

Nick was the driving force behind WikiVet and all that it stood for, and it is thanks to his vision, innovative approach and tireless enthusiasm and belief, that WikiVet is available as a free resource to veterinary professionals around the world today. Nick’s dedication and passion for veterinary education were truly inspirational and his very many friends, colleagues and students across the world have lost a true gem. He was an exceptional human being: gentle, good-natured, charming, generous and kind: he has left many legacies which will ensure that he will be remembered for many years.

Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this heartbreaking time. A book of remembrance has been set up for anyone that would like to leave a message of condolence for Nick and his family have asked that anyone who wishes to do so make a donation to BipolarUK, a charity that was close to Nick’s heart.

Category:Streptococcus species

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  • 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