Streptococci

Author(s):
Carol E. Chenoweth, MD

Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
Clinical Professor, Department of Epidemiology
University of Michigan Health System
Ann Arbor, MI

Published:
October 3, 2014

Abstract

The genusStreptococcusencompasses a broad range of colonizing and pathogenic organisms. Streptococci inhabit animals as well as humans and can cause infection in both. They are found most abundantly as commensals in the mouth, gastrointestinal tract, and genitourinary tract. When pathogenic, they are important causes of skin and soft tissue infection, pharyngitis, pneumonia, and bacteremia. This chapter describes the microbiologic and clinical characteristics of the streptococci typically seen in human infection and emphasizes features of transmission and prevention.