Although bacteria are single-celled and microscopically small, they still need energy to survive, just like us. One of the most efficient ways of acquiring energy for bacteria is through sweet, soluble carbohydrates: sugars.
In fact, the keen ability of the deadly bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae to use the plant-derived sugar raffinose may explain how it spreads through the human body.
Pneumonia is the leading cause of child deaths worldwide, killing roughly 18 percent of children under age five. Multiple causes of pneumonia exist, but the most common and deadliest is the pneumococcus bacterium, responsible for close to half of the cases of pneumonia in children.
Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) infection, a serious global problem that is the leading cause of pneumonia and other life-threatening illnesses, is vaccine preventable.
Pneumococcus, or Streptococcus pneumoniae, the “captain of the men of death” in the parlance of Sir William Osler, has killed millions of people while repeatedly frustrating clinicians, vaccine experts, and epidemiologists.
The study of Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus) had
been a central issue in medicine for many decades until the use of antibiotics
became generalized. Many fundamental contributions to the history of microbiology
should credit this bacterium: the capsular precipitin reaction, the major role
this reaction plays in the development of immunology through the identification of
polysaccharides as antigens, and, mainly, the demonstration, by genetic transformation,
that genes are composed of DNA—the finding from the study of bacteria
that has had the greatest impact on biology.
Researchers from seven countries have collaborated to analyze how a single strain of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria has morphed over 30 years and spread across the world, in an attempt to overcome the development of antibiotics and vaccines.
Diseases caused by this bacterium are classified as pneumococcal diseases. This pathogen colonizes the nasopharynx of its host asymptomatically, but overtime can migrate to sterile tissues and organs and cause infections. Pneumonia is currently the most common pneumococcal disease. Pneumococcal pneumonia is a global health concern and vastly affects children under the age of five as well as the elderly and individuals with pre-existing health conditions.
Researchers have found a known pathogen may help prevent pneumonia
The pneumococcus is the classic Gram-positive extracellular pathogen. The medical burden of diseases it causes is amongst the greatest in the world. Intense study for more than 100 years has yielded an understanding of fundamental aspects of its physiology, pathogenesis, and immunity. Efforts to control infection have led to the deployment of polysaccharide vaccines and an understanding of antibiotic resistance.
Pneumococci are opportunistic Gram-positive pathogens found in about 10% of healthy people. To cause disease, it is not sufficient for them to evade the immune system; they must also outcompete other microbes seeking to occupy the same niche.
Pneumococcal pneumonia is more common than you think. And, if you're over 50, you may be at increased risk for getting it.
Stop Pneumonia is an that initiative provides a voice for communities who suffer from the devastating consequences of the disease and who lack access to lifesaving interventions.
Pneumococcal disease is a leading cause of serious illness throughout the world. It is caused by a common type of bacteria, the pneumococcus, which can attack different parts of the body. Illnesses caused by pneumococcus include pneumonia, meningitis, middle ear and sinus infections, and a condition called sepsis, which is an infection of the bloodstream.
Pneumococcal [noo-muh-KOK-uhl] disease is caused by a bacterium known as Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus. Pneumococcal infections can range from ear and sinus infections to pneumonia and bloodstream infections. Children younger than 2 years of age are among those most at risk for disease. There are vaccines to prevent pneumococcal disease in children and adults.
Pneumonia caused by Pneumococcus is the most common form of infection occurring outside of a hospital or institutional setting in the U.S. Pneumococcus infection is responsible for over 6,000 deaths per year in the U.S.--the highest number for any vaccine-preventable disease. A serious complication of pneumonia, pneumococcal meningitis, is associated with a particularly high fatality rate.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is the bacterium that has historically been the most common pathogen to cause CAP worldwide. In the era before antibiotics, S. pneumoniae was estimated to be the cause of 95% of all cases of pneumonia. Currently, however, S. pneumoniae accounts for up to 15% of pneumonia cases in the United States and 27% of cases worldwide today. Blood cultures are positive in only 20% to 25% of all pneumonia cases that are caused by S. pneumonia making it a challenging diagnosis for the clinician.