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Streptococcus pyogenes is a species of Gram-positive, aerotolerant bacteria in the genus Streptococcus. These bacteria are extracellular, and made up of non-motile and non-sporing cocci that tend to link in chains. They are clinically important for humans, as they are an infrequent, but usually pathogenic, part of the skin microbiota that can cause Group A streptococcal infection. S. pyogenes is the predominant species harboring the Lancefield group A antigen, and is often called group A Streptococcus (GAS). However, both Streptococcus dysgalactiae and the Streptococcus anginosus group can possess group A antigen as well. Group A streptococci, when grown on blood agar, typically produce small (2–3 mm) zones of beta-hemolysis, a complete destruction of red blood cells. The name group A (beta-hemolytic) Streptococcus (GABHS) is thus also used.   Wikipedia

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