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Streptococcus viridans

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Viridans streptococci are an ill defined group of species which typically show alpha haemolysis on blood agar, but may have a variety or no Lancefield antigens. The most common are Str. sanguis, mitior, mutans and salivarius. Most are commensals of the mouth and upper respiratory tract.

Diseases caused include:

  • endocarditis on abnormal valves - especially Str. sanguis
  • gingivitis, dental caries - especially Str. mutans

They are sensitive to penicillin (most strains) and erythromycin. Tetracyclines, cephalosporins and co - trimoxazole are less effective.

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