Early in this century Rayer described a case of elephantiasis in a boy of seventeen who, after several attacks of erysipelas, showed marked diminution of the elephantoid change; the fact shows the antagonism of the streptococcus erysipelatis to hypertrophic and malignant processes. Acromegaly is a term introduced by Marie, and signifies large extremities.
One of the most frequent is the Streptococcus viridans. If a more malignant form of endocarditis develops on a mild endocarditis, the diagnosis is generally not difficult. If, without a definite known septic process, malignant endocarditis develops, localized symptoms of heart disturbance and cardiac signs may be very indefinite.
Said to have been feeble-minded after six months in rebel prison. Violent at times for twenty years. Did no work, thought "soul lost." Death from pneumococcus and streptococcus septicemia. Chronic diffuse nephritis.
It is now recognized that any infection can cause weakness and degeneration of the heart muscle. The Streptococcus rheumaticus found in rheumatic joints is probably the cause of such heart injury in rheumatism. That prolonged fever from any cause injures heart muscle has long been recognized, and cardiac dilatation after severe illness is now more carefully prevented.
They are found almost indiscriminately in any of these wound infections, and none of them appears to have any definite relation to any special form of disease unless it be the micrococcus of erysipelas. The common pus micrococci are grouped under three species, Staphylococcus pyogenes aureus, Staphylococcus pyogenes, and Streptococcus pyogenes.
The streptococcus has less capacity of liquefying the tissues than the staphylococcus, so that pus formation takes place more slowly. At the same time its products are very potent in destroying the tissues in their vicinity, and so interfering with the exudation of leucocytes which would otherwise exercise their protective influence.
This may be a wound or a purulent blister, and the streptococcus pyogenes is the organism most frequently present. Septic lymphangitis is commonly met with in those who, from the nature of their occupation, handle infective material. A gonococcal form has been observed in those suffering from gonorrhœa.
Erysipelas, popularly known as "rose," is an acute spreading infective disease of the skin or of a mucous membrane due to the action of a streptococcus. Infection invariably takes place through an abrasion of the surface, although this may be so slight that it escapes observation even when sought for.
All bacteria producing Streptococcus chains form a single genus Streptococcus, and all which divide in three division planes form another genus, Sarcina, etc. The rod-shaped bacteria also differ somewhat, but to a less extent. They almost always divide in a plane at right angles to their longest dimension. Occasionally a rod species may divide lengthwise, but this is rare.
Strangles or distemper is, according to most pathologists, due to the Streptococcus equi. Hoare states that in this type of specific arthritis the contagium is probably carried by the blood. He gives it as his opinion that even laminitis has occurred as a result of the streptococcus-equi. This, indeed, would point toward probable extension by the blood as well as by way of lymph vessels.