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Streptococci "streptococcus Pyogenes" Under Microscope

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By Dimarion

Bacteria constitute a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a number of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals. Bacteria were among the first life forms to appear on Earth, and are present in most of its habitats. Bacteria inhabit soil, water, acidic hot springs, radioactive waste, and the deep portions of Earth's crust. Bacteria also live in symbiotic and parasitic relationships with plants and animals. They are also known to have flourished in manned spacecraft.
There are typically 40 million bacterial cells in a gram of soil and a million bacterial cells in a millilitre of fresh water. There are approximately 5×1030 bacteria on Earth, forming a biomass which exceeds that of all plants and animals. Bacteria are vital in recycling nutrients, with many of the stages in nutrient cycles dependent on these organisms, such as the fixation of nitrogen from the atmosphere and putrefaction. In the biological communities surrounding hydrothermal vents and cold seeps, bacteria provide the nutrients needed to sustain life by converting dissolved compounds such as hydrogen sulphide and methane to energy. On 17 March 2013, researchers reported data that suggested bacterial life forms thrive in the Mariana Trench, the deepest spot on the Earth. Other researchers reported related studies that microbes thrive inside rocks up to 1900 feet below the sea floor under 8500 feet of ocean off the coast of the northwestern United States. According to one of the researchers,"You can find microbes everywhere — they're extremely adaptable to conditions, and survive wherever they are."
Most bacteria have not been characterised, and only about half of the phyla of bacteria have species that can be grown in the laboratory. The study of bacteria is known as bacteriology, a branch of microbiology.

Streptococcus is a genus of spherical Gram-positive bacteria belonging to the phylum Firmicutes and the lactic acid bacteria group. Cellular division occurs along a single axis in these bacteria, and thus they grow in chains or pairs, hence the name—from Greek στρεπτός streptos, meaning easily bent or twisted, like a chain (twisted chain).
Contrast this with staphylococci, which divide along multiple axes and generate grape-like clusters of cells. Most streptococci are oxidase- and catalase-negative, and many are facultative anaerobes.
In 1984, many organisms formerly considered Streptococcus were separated out into the genera Enterococcus and Lactococcus. There are currently over 50 species recognised in this genus.

Streptococcus pyogenes is a spherical, Gram-positive bacterium that is the cause of group A streptococcal infections. S. pyogenes displays streptococcal group A antigen on its cell wall. S. pyogenes typically produces large zones of beta-hemolysis (the complete disruption of erythrocytes and the release of hemoglobin) when cultured on blood agar plates, and are therefore also called Group A (beta-hemolytic) Streptococcus (abbreviated GABHS).
Streptococci are catalase-negative. In ideal conditions, S. pyogenes has an incubation period of approximately 1–3 days. It is an infrequent, but usually pathogenic, part of the skin flora.
It is estimated that there are more than 700 million infections world wide each year and over 650,000 cases of severe, invasive infections that have a mortality rate of 25%. Early recognition and treatment are critical; diagnostic failure can result in sepsis and death

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