6 Types of Streptococcus and Its Main Diseases


Well known by those who have a pet at home - and even by those who have never had a pet - the Streptococcus bacterium is a causative agent of different diseases and complications, affecting both animals and humans and can therefore be transmitted from one to the other. other.

Lactic acid-producing bacteria Streptococcus they are characterized by causing the cell death of red blood cells (also called red blood cells), present in the bloodstream of animals and humans. Unchanged with the presence of oxygen, these bacteria can live with or without their presence, and are classified into different specific groups (with groups B, C and, especially G, being the most frequent in animal infections):

Includes bacteria of the type pyogenes, and can cause problems such as pharyngitis, rheumatic fever and postpartum fever.

Formed by species agalactiae, is a causative agent of complications including meningitis, and can affect newborn babies.

Composed of different species of bacteria, this group triggers problems that present in diseases that tend to form pus.

Commonly, it causes complications in the mouth and dentition, leading to dental abscesses and inflammation of the gums, for example.

There are dental cavities among its main consequences, since lactic acid gradually destroys dental calcium, leaving the tooth more vulnerable.

Also known by the name Pneumococcus, this species of the bacterium is one of the ones that causes the most serious problems, including pneumonia, meningitis and sinusitis, among others.

In addition to dogs, cats and humans, Streptococcus can affect other animal species, including horses, pigs, cattle and birds. Normally found in the genital areas, respiratory tract and intestine, bacteria of this type can cause infections in all types and breeds of dogs, and unhygienic environments and factors such as age and a recent history of surgery can increase the chances of that the Streptococcus affects your pet.

Check out, in this article, a little more about this bacterium that causes so many problems, and learn to identify the signs that it may be present in your pet, guaranteeing the treatment of the animal and preventing it from being transmitted to you.

The forms of transmission of the bacteria are varied, and can be either endogenous (determined by genetic inheritance, lifestyle or physiology of the organism) or exogenous (determined by causes referring to the environment, independent of the organism of the animal).

Factors related to the age of the animal can also point to a greater chance of infection, be it the elderly dog ​​or a puppy. In the case of puppies, this greater propensity is due to the immune system still underdeveloped and very fragile, which prevents the production of antibodies by the animal so that the infection is fought.

Among elderly dogs the cause is similar, and occurs due to the decrease in defense cells that occurs in the body in animals of advanced age, which are much more exposed to infections caused by bacteria, fungi and protozoa.

Dogs undergoing surgical procedures must also be well cared for during the postoperative phase, as during this period they have a more fragile immune system and, therefore, are more likely to suffer from some type of disease. bacterial infection.

Very crowded environments that cause stress to dogs - such as kennels - can be a determining factor for the transmission of the bacteria and, therefore, should be avoided, considering that the contact of healthy animals with other contaminated is a guarantee of the transmission of Streptococcus. As in the case of direct contact, the habit of sharing bowls where you eat and drink also presents risks for transmission, which is usually done through the pets' respiratory and salivary secretions.

It is worth remembering, once again, that a good part of the diseases caused by this bacterium are zoonoses - that is, they can be transmitted to human beings - and, therefore, it is important that when noticing any type of symptom by Streptococcus infection in your pet, contact with him is avoided as much as possible, until a veterinary professional can be consulted; keeping in mind that a simple hug from your buddy can cause you to also get some kind of complication.

Streptococcus can also be the agent of diseases that affect cats and that, in most cases, manifest in a similar way to diseases caused by Group A bacteria in humans; including respiratory infections, sinusitis and various dermatitis. As in the case of dogs, avoiding over-filled catteries and contact of the healthy pussy with infected cats is a good prevention option.

Cats with Feline AIDS are among the group most likely to be infected with the disease. Streptococcus bacteria, since the immune system of cats with this disease is very fragile and open to transmissions of different diseases.

Symptoms and complications caused by the bacterium Streptococcus

It can be fatal for dogs and cats, the diseases caused by this specific bacterium present themselves through different forms and symptoms. In dogs, some of the most common signs include fever, pain, tonsillitis, cellulite (inflammatory disease), difficulty in swallowing food or drinks, pneumonia, cough and apathy. More serious complications have also been reported with Streptococcus as the causative agent, including abortions and infections that affect the urinary tract, the central nervous system and the entire blood circulation of the animals.

Toxic Shock Syndrome is also a complication that can be caused by the bacterium Streptococcus and, because it is quite severe, it can affect different areas of the animal organism, including mucous membranes, the kidneys, the skin and the gastric system. Although it is quite rare, this complication can affect both animals and humans, and its causes besides the bacteria have not yet been fully defined.

Symptoms in cats can also include cough, pnemunia, fever, arthritis, apathy and pain, however, respiratory problems end up being the main and most serious among felines, and dermatitis can also be seen in cats contaminated by Streptococcus.

It is of utmost importance that a veterinary professional is consulted in the event that these Streptococcus symptoms manifest in your pet, since, in addition to the transmission of the disease in question to other animals and even to its owners, the animal can die in a short time if it is not treated correctly.

While humans with more serious complications related to this bacterium can die in up to 80% of situations, the proportion increases a lot in the case of animals, with cats being even more affected than dogs, in most cases.

Diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to Streptococcus

Although the set of symptoms of diseases caused by the bacterium Streptococcus are relatively typical, it is only through a laboratory exam that a correct diagnosis can be reached and, for this, the animal's visit to a veterinarian is indispensable.

In order for the diagnosis to be carried out in the correct way, the doctor will take a sample of the infected area in the pet, which will be analyzed and, according to the results and the affected region, may order other complementary tests.

The use of antibiotics is usually the path followed for the treatment of diseases caused by Streptococcus, and only a professional will be able to indicate the correct medication for the case of your pet, in addition to saying which doses and how often the remedies should be given to your little friend for the treatment to be complete and effective.

In general, treatment for the most common cases of illness triggered by the bacteria lasts from a few days to a few weeks, however, surgical interventions may also be indicated to treat more severe cases. In situations where the animal develops wounds, for example, surgery may be necessary so that all dead tissue is removed from the pet's body, preventing the bacteria from staying in place and spreading to other regions.

As we always stress, the pet owners should never opt for self-medicationbecause, in this way, they can both aggravate the illness of your pets and slow down their recovery process and even lead them to death. Taking care to consult a veterinarian when the first symptoms appear, just follow the treatment correctly to help your pet heal, always remembering to keep it in clean and disinfected places, and to always wash your hands well when playing with Your Friend.

Dogs are generally quite sensitive to infections caused by Streptococcus and due to this characteristic, treatment should be carried out as soon as possible, even in the face of minor infections.

In addition to the use of an appropriate antibiotic according to the type of Streptococcus, some more serious cases require surgical intervention to remove dead tissue in the pet, thus limiting the spread of the bacteria.

Unfortunately animals are also suffering from a problem that is becoming quite common for humans: the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. According to experts, a number of factors influence this problem:

  • Discontinuation of treatment before the time set by the veterinarian. Some owners think that the absence of symptoms already solves the problem and they stop the treatment on their own, however the Streptococcus is still found in the animal's organism and can come back more resistant;
  • Problems in administering the correct dosage indicated by the veterinarian, as well as difficulties in following the determined intervals;
  • Use of antibiotics without the recommendation of a specialist. Remember that only a veterinarian is able to pass the right medication to streptococcal infection of your pet.

It is common for veterinarians to want the animal to return after the end of the treatment, this is necessary because only the professional is able to tell if the pet is completely cured or if he needs new doses of the medicine before he is discharged.

Learn more about Streptococcus

THE group of bacteria Streptococcus it is quite wide and has about 100 different species. Some species are housed in dogs and cats, but hardly trigger any disease in these animals, just as some species are common for humans, but can cause diseases in animals other than their natural reservoir. Outside the host the Streptococcus survives for a short time, being a fragile bacterium.

It is common to hear the term Enterococcus. You Enterococcus they are nothing more than Streptococcus enteric, which are found in the intestines of animals and humans. When compared to Streptococcus this genus has some differences: they tolerate bile salts and part of the Enterococcus isolated is mobile. This group can be considered as opportunistic pathogens.

Each group of Streptococcus has a level of virulence, because this capacity depends on a series of factors, such as the type of hemolysis that the bacterium is capable of causing, the presence of certain proteins, enzymes and capsule conferring resistance to the bacterium.

In addition, not all streptococcal bacteria cause zoonosis, some only affect animals, others only affect humans, while others affect both species, similarly or differently.

  • Streptococcus group A - S. pyogenes

THE S. pyogenes is a bacterium that mainly affects humans, being a common pathogen for children, however it can eventually cause tonsillitis (tonsillitis) in dogs. This bacterium can also infect cattle through humans and re-infect humans through milk.

It can also cause Impetigo, being more common in humans than in animals, especially in puppies, in which the disease is most commonly caused by staphylococci.

  • Streptococcus group B - S. agalactiae

This group is composed exclusively of S. agalactiae and it has differences in infections caused in animals and humans. For some time scientists have tried to separate this bacterium into different strains because of the bacteriological differences in infections, however everything suggests that it is a single species.

THE S. agalactiae it mainly affects cattle and animals of the camel family, causing mastitis, infections being rarer in animals such as fish, hamsters, cats and dogs. It is important for newborns, both humans and dogs, causing meningitis and septicemia in this group.

In humans the S. agalactiae presents in the genitourinary and gastrointestinal tract. In dogs it causes endocarditis and eczema.

  • Streptococcus group G - S. canis

THE S. canis it has been isolated in canines, felines and cattle, among other animals. It is usually found in the upper respiratory tract and genital tract of animals.

In dogs it causes several types of infection, such as external otitis, skin infections, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, genital, urinary, respiratory infections, abortions and in some cases endocarditis. The occurrence of toxic shock syndrome by S. canis or septicemia is considered uncommon.

In cats the S. canis it presents mainly in the vagina of young females, but it can be lodged in the tonsils, foreskin and pharynx. The infection occurs in all ranges, but is more common in animals less than two weeks old. In these younger kittens there is a great occurrence of septicemia with sudden death. In cats that are 3 to 7 months old, they usually have cervical lymphadenitis, due to pharyngitis or tonsillitis.

  • Enterococcus

Urinary tract infections are more common in young pets, but they can occur at any time in the pet's life. It is estimated that 14% of dogs will present the disease at some stage in life. In cats, UTIs are less frequent, but in elderly cats more than half of them will have UTI due to streptococcal infection or other bacterial infection.

Part of UTIs (urinary tract infection) is caused by Enterococcus, among other bacteria, often occurring more than one in each infection. Unlike humans, these infections have no symptoms and are discovered by chance. When left untreated they can cause a series of sequelae such as urinary dysfunction, fertility problems, prostate problems, septicemia, among others, with eventual kidney failure.

  • Pneumococcus - S. Pneumoniae

The group of bacteria S. Pneumoniae are widely known as Pneumococcus. This group causes several diseases and leads to the death of thousands of people every year, not only in Brazil but worldwide.

The most common pneumococcal disease (PD) is pneumonia. However, PD’s come in two types: Invasive, that is, they enter the bloodstream or in places that are commonly sterile in the infected animal or person and non-invasive. Because of this variety, PD’s present symptoms and severity varying according to the location they infected, in addition, some pneumococci are considered resistant to antibiotic therapy.

THE infection S. Pneumoniae it is not much different from others Streptococcus, mainly by air through the release of droplets of saliva or sneezing. Find out below some of the diseases caused by Pneumococci invasively:

  • Septicemia and bacteremia is the presence of the pathogen in the blood. Bacteremia is the presence of the bacteria that entered the bloodstream in a primary way, that is, directly or in a secondary way, resulting from an infection. Septicemia, on the other hand, is an inflammatory process, with intense bacterial multiplication, often with the release of toxins by bacteria, aggravating the condition;
  • Meningitis is an infectious process that occurs when the Streptococcus reaches the membrane that covers the brain and the spinal cord, very common in humans, usually causes fever and stiffness in the neck and neck;
  • Arthritis occurs when there is an infectious or inflammatory process in the joint;
  • Pericarditis happens when the infectious process is in the serous membrane that surrounds the heart externally, the pericardium.

There are also Noninvasive Pneumococcal Diseases:

  • Acute otitis media, as the name suggests, the infection reaches the middle portion of the ear;
  • Pneumonia caused by Streptococcus, in dogs the disease has the most frequent symptom of dyspnea or difficulty breathing, with rapid and shallow breaths, with fever and often with cyanosis, gray or bluish color caused by lack of oxygen, in the gums, tongue and lips;
  • Bronchitis, a disease that often occurs due to presence of Pneumococcus or another pathogen, leading to inflammation of the mucosa of the trachea and bronchi;
  • Conjunctive, which is the infectious process in the conjunctiva, a transparent part that lines the ocular surface.

The toxic shock syndrome

This disease is rare, however it has a great potential to lead the person or animal affected to death. The Syndrome is caused by toxins from various bacteria, depending on the situation. Toxic shock syndrome caused by Streptococcus is often referred to as Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, being mainly caused by S. pyogenes.

The Syndrome usually occurs through the pharynx, vagina - mainly in humans through the use of tampon - or trauma to the skin such as burns and cuts.

The disease affects several organs, with frequent liver, kidney and / or muscle damage, in addition to leading to anemia. Fever, tiredness, diarrhea, vomiting and skin rashes are also among the symptoms of the syndrome. Usually the organs recover completely after the end of the disease and the streptococcal infection.

Tips for cleaning your puppy and avoiding diseases:

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