Group B Streptococcus
Infection with Group B Streptococcus (GBS), also known as 'Streptococcus agalactiae
Streptococcus agalactiae
Streptococcus agalactiae is a beta-hemolytic Gram-positive streptococcus.- Identification :The CAMP test is an important test for identification...

' and more colloquially as Strep B and group B Strep, can cause serious illness and sometimes death, especially in newborn infants, the elderly, and patients with compromised immune systems. Group B streptococci are also prominent veterinary pathogen
A pathogen gignomai "I give birth to") or infectious agent — colloquially, a germ — is a microbe or microorganism such as a virus, bacterium, prion, or fungus that causes disease in its animal or plant host...

s, because they can cause bovine mastitis
Mastitis is the inflammation of breast tissue. S. aureus is the most common etiological organism responsible, but S. epidermidis and streptococci are occasionally isolated as well.-Terminology:...

Inflammation is part of the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. Inflammation is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli and to initiate the healing process...

 of the udder
An udder is an organ formed of the mammary glands of female quadruped mammals, especially ruminants such as cattle, goats, sheep and deer. The udder is a single mass hanging beneath the animal, consisting of pairs of mammary glands...

) in dairy cows. The species name "agalactiae" meaning "no milk", alludes to this.

Streptococcus is a genus of spherical Gram-positive bacteria belonging to the phylum Firmicutes and the lactic acid bacteria group. Cellular division occurs along a single axis in these bacteria, and thus they grow in chains or pairs, hence the name — from Greek στρεπτος streptos, meaning...

 is a genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 of spherical, Gram-positive
Gram-positive bacteria are those that are stained dark blue or violet by Gram staining. This is in contrast to Gram-negative bacteria, which cannot retain the crystal violet stain, instead taking up the counterstain and appearing red or pink...

 bacteria of the phylum
In biology, a phylum The term was coined by Georges Cuvier from Greek φῦλον phylon, "race, stock," related to φυλή phyle, "tribe, clan." is a taxonomic rank below kingdom and above class. "Phylum" is equivalent to the botanical term division....

The Firmicutes are a phylum of bacteria, most of which have Gram-positive cell wall structure. A few, however, such as Megasphaera, Pectinatus, Selenomonas and Zymophilus, have a porous pseudo-outer-membrane that causes them to stain Gram-negative...