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Volume 22, Number 11—November 2016
Etymologia

Etymologia: Streptococcus

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Streptococcus [strepʺto-kokʹəs]

Figure

Thumbnail of Clindamycin-resistant group B Streptococcus. Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Figure. Clindamycin-resistant group B Streptococcus. Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

From the Greek streptos (“chain”) + kokkos (“berry”), streptococcal diseases have been known since at least the 4th century bce when Hippocrates described erysipelas (Greek for “red skin”). The genus Streptococcus (Figure) was named by Austrian surgeon Theodor Billroth, who in 1874 described “small organisms as found in either isolated or arranged in pairs, sometimes in chains” in cases of erysipelas or wound infections. Over subsequent decades, as microscopy and staining techniques improved, many different researchers characterized the bacteria now known as Streptococcus pyogenes (Lancefield group A β-hemolytic streptococcus), S. pneumoniae, and other species.

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References

  1. Majno  G, Joris  I. Billroth and Penicillium. Rev Infect Dis. 1979;1:8804 DOI

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Figure

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Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid2211.et2211

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Table of Contents – Volume 22, Number 11—November 2016

Page created: October 19, 2016
Page updated: October 19, 2016
Page reviewed: October 19, 2016
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
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