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Microbiology and pathogenesis of Streptococcus pneumoniae

Elaine I Tuomanen, MD
Section Editors
Daniel J Sexton, MD
Sheldon L Kaplan, MD
Deputy Editor
Anna R Thorner, MD


Streptococcus pneumoniae occupies an important position in the history of microbiology:

The organism was first identified in 1881.

Its role in causing lobar pneumonia was appreciated by the late 1880s.

The central role of antibody in host defense against extracellular organisms was first described for the pneumococcus.

The first recognition that antibody directed to the capsular polysaccharide of a bacteria could be protective was shown for the pneumococcus; this observation forms the basis for many current bacterial vaccines.


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Jul 21, 2015.
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