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Did You Know There Are Quick Tests for Infectious Diseases?Streptococcus pneumoniae: pathogen and clinical presentation

Pathogen

Streptococcus pneumoniae is a diplococcus—a round bacterium in a form appearing as two joined cells—that is covered on the outside with a membrane called a capsule. The capsules come in more than 90 different types (serotypes).

Clinical Presentation

Streptococcus pneumoniae is the cause of around 30% of acute middle ear infections and acute sinusitis.*It is one of the big two pathogenic bacteria along with Hemophilus influenzae* In addition, it causes pneumonia, bacteremia (the presence of bacteria in the blood), and bacterial meningitis among other conditions, and is associated with serious diseases. It is recognized as a major causative bacterium in cases of pneumonia and middle ear infection that develops following viral infections such as the common cold and the flu.

  • Haemophilus influenza is not the pathogen that causes the flu. Like Streptococcus pneumoniae, it is a bacterium that causes conditions such as middle ear infection, sinusitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) in particular, which is highly virulent, is encapsulated like Streptococcus pneumoniae and causes bacterial meningitis (Hib meningitis) , pneumonia, and bacteremia in infants.

If you have these symptoms, it is important to get checked at a hospital as soon as possible.