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Streptococcus agalactiae

Stripper Agalactic
Picmonic
Streptococcus agalactiae, commonly called group B streptococci (GBS), is a gram-positive cocci that can cause serious disease in newborns. This organism can be differentiated from other gram-positive cocci, because it is beta-hemolytic, catalase-negative, and bacitracin-resistant. This organism also produces CAMP factor, which causes the area of hemolysis formed by beta hemolysin from Staphylococcus aureus to be enlarged. This organism can colonize the vagina of women, and cause serious disease in newborns as they pass through the vaginal canal during delivery. Common neonatal manifestations include pneumonia, meningitis and septicemia. Therefore, pregnant women are routinely screened for the presence of GBS in the vagina at 35-37 weeks, and women with positive cultures can receive intrapartum prophylactic treatment with IV penicillin during delivery. 
18 KEY FACTS
CHARACTERISTICS
Group B Streptococci
(B) Bee Stripper

This bacteria is characterized by the presence of group B Lancefield antigen and commonly called group B Streptococci (GBS).

Gram-Positive
Graham-cracker Positive-angel

This organism stains positive on Gram stain due to thick peptidoglycan layer which absorbs crystal violet.

Cocci
Cockeyed

This bacterium has a spherical shape.

Beta-Hemolytic
Beta-fish in Petri-dish

Strep agalactiae typically produces large zones of beta-hemolysis, which is complete lysis of red cells in the blood culture media.

Bacitracin-Resistant
Resisting Bass wearing Resistance-bandana

Bacitracin can be used to distinguish Strep agalactiae from other beta-hemolytic Streptococci, like Strep pyogenes. Streptococcus pyogenes is bacitracin- sensitive, while Streptococcus agalactiae is bacitracin-resistant.

Catalase-Negative
Negative-cat

Characteristically, Streptococcus agalactiae is catalase-negative, meaning it does not produce the enzyme catalase. This enzyme allows bacterium to convert hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen. This characteristic is helpful in distinguishing Streptococci from catalase-positive Staphylococci.

Pyrrolidonyl Arylamidase (PYR) Negative
Negative Pyro

Streptococcus agalactiae does not have activity of the enzyme pyrrolidonyl arylamidase. Thus, it produces a negative test, resulting in an orange or yellow color of the reagent. Streptococcus agalactiae is known to be pyrrolidonyl arylamidase- negative, and serves as a negative control in this test.

Polysaccharide Capsule
Polly-sack Capsule

An important virulence factor of this organism is its capsule, composed of polysaccharides. These bacterial capsules completely surround bacterial cell, and enhance the ability of bacteria to cause disease.

Hippurate Positive (+)
Positive Hippie-pirate

The hippurate hydrolysis test is used to detect the ability of bacteria to hydrolyse hippurate into glycine and benzoic acid, and serves as a presumptive identification test for Gardnerella vaginalis, Campylobacter jejuni, Listeria monocytogenes and group B streptococci.

Produces CAMP Factor
Camping-tent

A CAMP test is frequently used to identify group B streptococci based on their formation of CAMP factor, which causes the area of hemolysis formed by beta-hemolysin from Staphylococcus aureus to be enlarged.

Enlarges Area of Hemolysis by S. aureus
Staff of Oreos

A CAMP test is frequently used to identify Group B streptococci based on their formation of CAMP factor, which causes the area of hemolysis formed by beta hemolysin from Staphylococcus aureus to be enlarged.

DISEASE
Mainly in Babies
Baby

S. agalactiae is commonly transferred to neonates during passage through the birth canal, and can cause serious infections in infants including pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis.

Meningitis
Men-in-tights

GBS infection of newborns can cause inflammation of the meninges. However, S. agalactiae neonatal meningitis typically does not present with the characteristic sign of stiff neck. Instead, infants typically present with nonspecific symptoms of fever, vomiting and irritability. Hearing loss can be a long-term sequela.

Pneumonia
Nude-Mona

This organism can invade alveolar and pulmonary epithelial cells of infants when inhaled during vaginal delivery. Newborns are especially susceptible to infection due to lack of alveolar macrophages.

Sepsis
Sepsis-snake

This organism is a major cause of bacterial sepsis of newborns. Early onset sepsis is typically accompanied by pneumonia, while onset after seven days is more often accompanied by meningitis.

Colonizes Vagina
Vagina-violet

S. agalactiae is a member of the GI normal flora in some people and can spread to secondary sites including the vagina in approximately 20% of women. Colonization of the vagina is important clinically because it can be transferred to neonates during passage through the birth canal and cause serious infections.

TREATMENT
Screen Pregnant Women at 35-37 Weeks
Screen-door and Pregnant-woman with 35 -37

Pregnant women are routinely screened for the presence of S. agalactiae (GBS) in the vagina at 35-37 weeks. Women with positive cultures can receive intrapartum prophylactic treatment with IV penicillin during delivery.

Penicillin
Pencil-villain

Women with positive cultures can receive intrapartum prophylactic treatment with IV penicillin during delivery.

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