pneumococcus


pneumococcus

Spheroidal bacterium (Streptococcus pneumoniae) that causes human diseases including pneumonia, sinusitis, ear infection, and meningitis. Usually occurring in the upper respiratory tract, this gram-positive (see gram stain) coccus is often found in a chain configuration and surrounded by a polysaccharide capsule. Pneumococci are separated into types depending on the specific capsular polysaccharide formed. Their disease-causing ability resides in the capsule, which delays or prevents their destruction by cells in the bloodstream that normally engulf foreign material.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on pneumococcus, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up pneumococcus? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More