Atlas of foodborne infections
transmitted by contaminated food and water

Atlas of Patogens Contents Information sources Glossary Administration


CZ: streptokokus
EN: streptococcus

Meat and Meat Products
Milk and Milk Products


Foodborne Disease:
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streptococcosis - sore and red throat, pain on swallowing, tonsilitis, high fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, malaise, rhinorrhea, occasionally a rash

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The genus Streptococcus  is comprised of Gram-positive, microaerophilic cocci (round), which are not motile and occur in chains or pairs. The genus is defined by a combination of antigenic, haemolytic, and physiological characteristics into Groups A, B, C, D, F, and G.

Groups A and D can be transmitted to humans via food.

Group A: one species with 40 antigenic types (S. pyogenes) cause septic sore throat and scarlet fever as well as other pyogenic and septicemic infections. Sore and red throat, pain on swallowing, tonsilitis, high fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, malaise, rhinorrhea; occasionally a rash occurs, onset 1-3 days.
Food sources include milk, ice cream, eggs, steamed lobster, ground ham, potato salad, egg salad, custard, rice pudding, and shrimp salad.

In almost all cases, the foodstuffs were allowed to stand at room temperature for several hours between preparation and consumption. Entrance into the food is the result of poor hygiene, ill food handlers, or the use of unpasteurised milk.Streptococcal sore throat is very common, especially in children. Usually it is successfully treated with antibiotics. Complications are rare and the fatality rate is low.

Group D: five species (S. faecalis, S. faecium, S. durans, S. avium, and S. bovis) may produce a clinical syndrome similar to staphylococcal intoxication. Diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, dizziness in 2-36 hours.

Food sources include sausage, evaporated milk, cheese, meat croquettes, meat pie, pudding, raw milk, and pasteurised milk.  Entrance into the food chain is due to underprocessing and/or poor and unsanitary food preparation. Diarrhoeal illness is poorly characterized, but is acute and self-limiting.


Source: A magnified view of streptococci - scan microphoto (colored)
Source: A magnified view of streptococci (colored)
Source: A magnified view of Streptococcus bacteria - scan microscopy
Source: Microbiological cultivation with hemolytic activity of Streptococcus
Source: Streptococcal bacteria under the microscope (colored)
Source: Streptococcal infection - smears from mouth

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