Bacterial Species Causing Bacterial Pharyngitis

Pharyngitis, also known as a sore throat, could be either acute or chronic. Acute pharyngitis is caused by bacteria, whereas viruses give rise to chronic pharyngitis. Therefore, bacterial pharyngitis is another name you may use for acute pharyngitis.

Bacterial Pharyngitis Symptoms

  • Sore throat
  • Fever (high grade)
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Redness in throat
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Malaise and hoarseness
  • Cough
  • Pain in the head, ears, muscles and joints

Bacterial Pharyngitis Causes

Although in many pharyngitis cases, viruses are the main reason for the infection; bacteria also attack the body in unexpected and drastic inflammations, and become the cause of the pharyngitis. There are a number of different bacterial species causing bacterial pharyngitis, the most widespread of which is Group A streptococcus (GAS). Here is a list of some commonly seen bacterial causes of pharyngitis.

1. Group A streptococcus

Children between 6 to 14 years of age are more prone to this bacterium type. It affects people more in the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Places used commonly by a crowded group of people (classroom, library, etc.) are suitable environments for the bacteria to spread.

2. Group C / Group G streptococci

These two types affect both adults and children, and they may also lead to an inflammation in kidneys as well.

3. Arcanobacterium haemolyticum

It is not as common a bacterium as the others. It has a long incubation period (almost three days) and it is not easily treated by antibiotics.

4. Neisseria gonorrhoaeae

It can be observed in people who have sexual interaction orally. It is hard to diagnose in physical examination and requires antibiotics.

5. Cornynbacterium diphtheria

It is exceptionally scarce in most of the world. Its distinctive feature is the layer it produces in the pharynx.


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