Streptokokken – Ursachen, Symptome und Behandlung der Infektion
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Streptococcus – causes, symptoms and treatment of the infection

Differentiation of streptococci strains

Streptococci are spherical bacteria that can reproduce without the supply of oxygen but through fermentation . There are different strains of streptococci, most strains are harmless. Streptococcus is usually not considered dangerous as long as the individual's immune system is intact and there are no particular health problems. However, if the immune system is weakened or certain people have a chronic illness, streptococcus can be potentially dangerous . In these cases, infection risks leading to serious complications, including sepsis , a life-threatening condition that occurs when the bacterium spreads throughout the body.

Streptococci are divided into different groups according to certain criteria. Streptococci produce the so-called bacterial toxins Streptolysins , which attack and destroy red blood cells. This process of the dissolution of red blood cells is also Hemolysis called. This results in the following types:

  • Alpha-hemolytic Streptococci
  • Beta-hemolytic (complete hemolysis) streptococci
  • Gamma hemolytic (no hemolysis) streptococci

The beta-hemolytic streptococci are then still in the so-called Lancefield groups categorized:

Group A (“Streptococcus pyogenes”) – typical infections : scarlet fever, tonsillitis, erysipelas

Group B (“Streptococcus agalactiae”) – typical infections: Urinary tract infections, wound infections.

Group C, F, G – typical infections: purulent infections mostly in the mouth and teeth area

Group D (“Enterococci”) – typical infections: Wound infections, intestinal infections.

If an infection with streptococci occurs, numerous diseases can arise, some of which can be very dangerous. A streptococcal infection is one of the most common bacterial infections in childhood . The number of deaths of children due to A streptococci is currently increasing enormously again.

Symptoms of a streptococcal infection

Symptoms vary depending on the area of ​​the body affected. The following symptoms may be indicators of a streptococcal infection:

  • Fever
  • Purulent secretions
  • Significant pain
  • Swelling in the mouth and throat area

Causes of Streptococcus

Streptococcal bacteria can be transmitted both directly and indirectly . Direct transmission occurs through direct contact with an infected person or by sharing objects such as food, drink, utensils, or clothing . Indirect transmission can occur through contact with a contaminated surface such as doorknobs, handrails, keyboards or telephone receivers . In most cases, the transmission of streptococci is a droplet infection . In a droplet infection, the pathogens are transmitted when sneezing, coughing or speaking . To avoid this, it is always important to hold your hand in front of yourself when sneezing or coughing and then disinfect it immediately.

Group A streptococci come mainly in childhood before. In larger groups such as daycare centers, schools or homes, the transmission of pathogens is also very easy. 

To prevent streptococcal infection, children and adults should wash your hands thoroughly regularly and maintain good hygiene. You should also hold the crook of your arm when coughing and sneezing. If a child suffers from a streptococcal infection, it should be treated with appropriate antibiotic treatment. The child should also be taken out of kindergarten or school for a few days to prevent further infection of other children.

Rapid test to detect a streptococcal infection

The quickest way to confirm detection of strep is with a strep antigen test . This test can be done in a clinic or laboratory. It consists of a swab taken from the surface of the neck or throat . The swab is then placed on a special culture plate and coated with a special liquid. If streptococci are present, a positive reaction will appear on the culture plate . A specific antibody reaction can then be carried out to determine which type of streptococcus is present .

Treatment of streptococcal infection

After you see a doctor you will Antibiotics prescribed. In most cases it is caused by a streptococcal infection penicillin used. Streptococcal infections can be easily treated with antibiotics. It is important to take the antibiotic as prescribed by the doctor . If you do not follow the instructions, serious complications can occur. If you have an allergic reaction to the penicillin, there is numerous options . 

If you feel sick after treatment with antibiotics you should do this Tell your doctor immediately . 

If infected with A streptococci An antibiotic is usually prescribed to treat the infection. In some cases it may also be necessary to treat with Corticosteroids is carried out to relieve inflammation. In some cases, surgery may also be necessary to remove the affected tissue. If an infection with A streptococci has occurred in the respiratory tract, treatment with Cough medicines and/or antihistamines may be required to relieve symptoms. It is also recommended a lot to drink and yourself Get enough rest to speed up healing.


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