JIM DOWDALLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JIM DOWDALLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Streptococcus bacteria. Computer artwork of the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes. These gram- positive, spherical bacteria usually form chains, as shown here. Healthy humans may carry these bacteria harmlessly in their throat or nose. Pathogenic strains of S. pyogenes, however, cause skin infection (including impetigo), uterine infection following childbirth and blood poisoning (septicaemia). S. pyogenes accounts for the high incidence of sore throats, tonsillitis, and middle ear infections (otitis media) in children. Infections caused by S. pyogenes are treated with penicillin.
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