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Tag words: Streptococcus, Streptococcus pyogenes, S pyogenes, strep, Group A strep, GAS, strep throat, streptococcal streptococci, Gram-positive cocci, cocci, wound infection, acute rheumatic fever, acute glomerulonephritis, scarlet fever, pharyngitis, impetigo, tonsillitis, pharyngeal cellulitis, pharyngeal abscess, otitis media, sinusitis, necrotizing fasciitis, streptococcal bacteremia, meningitis, brain abscess, gangrene

Streptococcus pyogenes

Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Firmicutes
Class: Bacilli
Order: Lactobacillales
Family: Streptococcaceae
Genus: Streptococcus
Species: S. pyogenes


Common References: Streptococcus, Streptococcus pyogenes, S pyogenes, strep, Group A strep, GAS, strep throat, Streptococcus pyogenes







Kenneth Todar currently teaches Microbiology 100 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  His main teaching interest include general microbiology, bacterial diversity, microbial ecology and pathogenic bacteriology.

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Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcal Disease (page 4)

(This chapter has 4 pages)

© Kenneth Todar, PhD

Gallery of electron micrographs of Streptococcus pyogenes from The Laboratory of Pathogenesis and Immunology at Rockefeller University, the home of research on Streptococcus pyogenes



Critical point dried whole group A streptococci (Streptococcus pyogenes) viewed directly by transmission electron microscopy (TEM 6,500X). Chains of streptococci are clearly evident. To remove cell surface proteins, cells were treated with trypsin prior to preparation and mounting. Strain: D471; M-type 6. Electron micrograph of Streptococcus pyogenes by Maria Fazio and Vincent A. Fischetti, Ph.D. with permission. The Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology, Rockefeller University.




Dividing streptococci (12,000X). Electron micrograph of Streptococcus pyogenes by Maria Fazio and Vincent A. Fischetti, Ph.D. with permission. The Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology, Rockefeller University.




Electron micrograph of an ultra-thin section of a chain of group A streptococci (20,000X). The cell surface fibrils, consisting primarily of M protein, are clearly evident. The bacterial cell wall, to which the fibrils are attached, is also clearly seen as the light staining region between the fibrils and the dark staining cell interior. Incipient cell division is also indicated by the nascent septum formation (seen as an indentation of the cell wall) near the cell equator. The streptococcal cell diameter is equal to approximately one micron. Electron micrograph of Streptococcus pyogenes by Maria Fazio and Vincent A. Fischetti, Ph.D. with permission. The Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology, Rockefeller University.




Negative staining of group A streptococci viewed by TEM 28,000X. The "halo" around the chain of cells (approximately equal in thickness to the cell diameter) is the remnants of the capsule that may be found surrounding the exterior of certain strains of group A streptococci. The septa between pairs of dividing cells may also be seen. Electron micrograph of Streptococcus pyogenes by Maria Fazio and Vincent A. Fischetti, Ph.D. with permission. The Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology, Rockefeller University.




High magnification electron micrograph of an ultra-thin section of a group A streptococcus sibling pair (70,000 X). At this magnification, especially in the cell on the left, the cell wall and cell surface fibrils, consisting primarily of M protein, are well defined. Interdigitaion of these fibrils between neighboring cells of different chains is also in plain view. Strain: C126/21/1; M-type 43. Electron micrograph of Streptococcus pyogenes by Maria Fazio and Vincent A. Fischetti, Ph.D. with permission. The Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology, Rockefeller University.



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