Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria

Streptococcus pneumoniae

Streptococcus pneumoniae picture pneumococcus

Streptococcus pneumoniae in clinical material occurs in two distinctive forms. Encapsulated, virulent strains isolated e.g., from sputum in patients with acute pneumonia, often forming highly mucoid, glistening colonies (production of capsular polysaccharide) surrounded by a zone of alfa-hemolysis. After prolonged cultivation (48 hours in an aerobic atmosphere enriched with 5-10% carbon dioxide) they are often able to form colonies about 5 mm in diameter.
In throat swabs Streptococcus pneumoniae can occur in its avirulent form (oropharyngeal carriage of pneumococci is common and they are considered to be part of normal flora). The colonies are only 0.5-2 mm in diameter, surrounded by zone of alfa-hemolysis and due to autolysis, often develop a dimpled rather a craterlike appearance. These colonies are someties morphologically indistinguishable from those of viridans streptococci but unlike viridas streptococci are sensitive to optochin and soluble in sodium desoxycholate (bile salts).

Streptococcus pneumoniae is a significant human pathogenic bacterium. S.pneumoniae was recognized as a major cause of pneumonia in the late 19th century and is the subject of many humoral immunity studies. Despite the name, the organism causes many types of pneumococcal infection other than pneumonia, including acute sinusitis, otitis media, meningitis, bacteremia, sepsis, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, endocarditis, peritonitis, pericarditis, cellulitis, and brain abscess. S.pneumoniae is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in adults and children, and is one of the top two isolates found in ear infection, otitis media. Pneumococcal pneumonia is more common in the very young and the very old. S.pneumoniae can be differentiated from viridans streptococci, some of which are also alpha hemolytic, using an optochin test, as S.pneumoniae is optochin sensitive. S.pneumoniae can also be distinguished based on its sensitivity to lysis by bile. The encapsulated, gram-positive coccoid bacteria have a distinctive morphology on gram stain, the so-called, "lancet shape". It has a polysaccharide capsule that acts as a virulence factor for the organism; more than 90 different serotypes are known, and these types differ in virulence.

Abbreviated from Wikipedia.

Streptococcus pneumoniae basic characteristics

  • GRAM-POSITIVE COCCI
  • NONMOTILE
  • NON-SPORE-FORMING
  • CATALASE: NEGATIVE
  • OXIDASE: NEGATIVE
  • FACULTATIVELY ANAEROBIC

Identification of Streptococcus pneumoniae

  • optochin test (sensitive)
  • bile solubility test (positive)
  • capsular swelling reaction



Antibiotic treatment of Streptococcus pneumoniae infections

Should be always guided by in vitro susceptibility tests!!
Selection of appropriate antibiotics depends on diagnosis!!

IF SUSCEPTIBLE:
  • penicillin
  • ampicillin
  • amoxicillin

  • cephalosporins I, II

  • macrolides


PENICILLIN RESISTANT:
  • cephalosporins III (e.g., cefotaxime, ceftriaxone)

ALTERNATIVES:

Streptococcus pneumoniae colonies on agar cultivation media

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Streptococcus pneumoniae alfa-hemolysis

streptococcus pneumoniae streptococcus pneumoniae streptococcus pneumoniae streptococcus pneumoniae

Streptococcus pneumoniae optochin test

streptococcus pneumoniae streptococcus pneumoniae

Streptococcus pneumoniae bile solubility test

bile-solubility bile solubility test

Streptococcus pneumoniae susceptibility testing

streptococcus pneumoniae streptococcus pneumoniae

Streptococcus pneumoniae Gram-stain

streptococcus pneumoniae sputum s.pneumoniae sputum Gram stain encapsulated pneumococci in sputum, Gram

Useful Links

WIKIPEDIA
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC)
E-MEDICINE