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Streptococci and enterococci 

Streptococci and enterococci
Chapter:
Streptococci and enterococci
Author(s):

Dennis L. Stevens

, and Sarah Hobdey

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0106
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date: 28 July 2021

The term streptococcus was first used by Billroth in 1874 to describe chain-forming cocci found in infected wounds. The streptococci are a diverse group of Gram-positive pathogenic cocci that cause clinical disease in humans and domestic animals. They are traditionally classified on the basis of serological reactions, particularly Lancefield grouping based on cell-wall carbohydrates, and haemolytic activity on blood agar. Six groups can be defined by genetic analysis: pyogenic streptococci, milleri or anginosus group, mitis group, salivarius group, mutans group, and bovis group. Since the medically important members of the mitis, salivarius, and mutans groups are all oral streptococci and are of clinical relevance predominantly in endocarditis, they will be considered together in this chapter.

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