FRANCIS LEROY, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANCIS LEROY, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration based on a scanning electron micrograph showing the characteristic formation of the oval or spherical individual bacteria of the genus Streptococcus into long chains. Streptococci are non-motile, non-sporing, Gram-positive bacteria that are widely distributed in nature, largely as parasites of man and animals. In man they exist as part of the normal flora of the respiratory, alimentary and female genital tracts. Certain species are pathogenic: S. pyogenes, for example, accounts for the high incidence of sore throats and tonsilitis in young children.
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