There is no mention of serious things when mentioning Streptococcus agalactiae but it is interesting to know what it is and how it is taken, also because it is very feared by pregnant women. This bacteria is gram-positive and belongs to the human microbiota, it could be defined as a harmless colonizer that we can find in humans, at the gastrointestinal and uro-genital levels.
We have said that it is quite harmless and in fact it is not a red alarm battery but this does not exclude the fact that in some cases it can become pathogenic and give rise to unwelcome infections. That's why those who are expecting a baby fear him. Another name by which it is known is that of beta-haemolytic streptococcus, which in any case indicates a species of bacteria that has a series of categories. In fact, there are ten serotypes which differ in the type of antigens present on the bacterial capsule.
Streptococcus agalactiae: how it works
This streptococcus forms in pairs and prefers to operate in anaerobic conditions. The name "beta-haemolytic" of group B is explained by the fact that this bacteria is capable of causing complete destruction of red blood cells in blood agar culture media.
Streptococcus agalactiae, almost always considered harmless, is present in the gastrointestinal, rectal and uro-genital tracts of about 30% of healthy individuals, both female and male.
There are few, but there are cases in which it becomes dangerous and when it happens it can cause infections, even serious ones. Among all serotypes there are some that are more potentially dangerous, such as serotype III which is linked to the onset of neonatal infections that cause meningitis.
Streptococcus agalactiae: how to take it
When this Streptococcus agalactiae becomes dangerous it leads to quite serious problems and that if we are not experts, we would hardly connect them to this seemingly harmless beating. I refer for example to pneumonia, endometritis, amnionitis, bacteremia, infectious pathologies of the urinary tract and meningitis.
At all ages it is possible for these pathologies to arise, there is no sex more at risk than the other, but there are categories that are more exposed. For example, babies and pregnant women. In both cases, the consequences can be very serious. A pregnant woman, due to such a neglected infection, can also suffer damage to the fetus. Infants with agalactiae streptococcal infections risk their lives and can suffer from meningitis, pneumonia and bacteremia.
How can such an infection be transmitted? Infants very often get it from their mother during childbirth, while adults most likely through unprotected sexual intercourse but it is information that needs to be confirmed by further studies.
Streptococcus agalactiae: cure
An infection like this must absolutely be treated with antibiotic drugs. It is not our job to prescribe them but we can name those that are the most used products today. Cephalosporins such as cefotaxime, penicillins such as benzylpenicillin and ampicillin, especially suitable for newborns, and then macrolides such as azithromycin, clarithromycin and erythromycin.
Those who are a little expert will remember this name, macrolides, also used in another context. The same substances recommended here, in fact, can also be used for patients who have an allergy to beta-lactam antibiotics, such as penicillins and cephalosporins. If a pregnant woman contracts the infection, it is not enough to follow antibiotic therapy, it is necessary to do more to prevent the future born being damaged.
The woman must then undergo intravenous antibiotic prophylaxis during labor.
Streptococcus agalactiae and animals
It does not always happen that the bacteria that create problems for humans are also harmful to animals but in this case this is exactly how it works. In particular we can focus our attention on the cows. Streptococcus agalactiae may be responsible for the onset of mastitis in dairy cows. The poor animal then becomes the victim of an acute fever which leads to a reduced synthesis of milk by the animal.
Other animals that can become infected with this bacteria are dogs, cats, camels, seals, dolphins and even crocodiles. Among the victims there are also fish, there are also real epidemics.
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