Bacteria types and resistance
Streptococci are gram positive spherical bacteria that grow in chains.
As they grow they secrete toxins and enzymes
Some of these damage red blood cells, how much damage is linked up to
which strain .
These are classified into :
Alpha α- haemolytic
Beta β –hemolytic
Gamma γ – haemolytic
The most concerning category is the β – haemolytic.
Strep germs are further differentiated into groups A through to O. This
differentiation is based on the nature of certain chemicals attached to
their cell wall.
Again the most concerning group is A.
On summary the most fearful group is therefore :
Β – Hemolytic group A Streptococcus. ( Often called A strep for short )
There are actually more than 80 different strains of group A strep.
This group is responsible for more diseases than any other.
Everything from sore throats, skin rashes , skin lesions ( impetigo ) to
More serious : Strep throat , scarlet fever, childbed fever and rheumatic fever.
All group A strep infections are sensitive to antibiotics. They have not
developed resistance to penicillin like many other infections have. There
is no sign yet of them becoming resistant. They have , however, shown resistance
to the next drug of choice streptomycin ( Not good news for people with
penicillin allergy )
A newer drug has been shown to be exceptionally effective against strep A.
Clindamycin. This effect is best when the treatment has been delayed.
No resistance has yet been shown to clindamycin.A few strains , however,
have been shown to be so powerful and aggressive producing powerful toxins
and enzymes, so much so that they kill their host before the antibiotic has
a chance to work.
These extremely aggressive type are known as collectively:
Invasive group A Strep ( IGAS ) and include those who attack human flesh.
I will write more about flesh eating bacteria and symptoms. Like many other illnesses knowledge saves lives and limbs.