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 easily bent or twisted, like a chain (twisted chain). Contrast this with staphylococci , which divide along multiple axes and generate grape-like clusters of cells . Most streptococci are oxidase - and catalase -negative, and many are facultative anaerobes . In 1984, many organisms formerly considered Streptococcus were separated out into the genera Enterococcus and Lactococcus .
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