Bacillus pyogenes is probably quite common in this country, as it is known to be in Europe.
A careful study of twelve strains from cattle and one from a hog has disclosed the following characteristics which have not been reported or have been in dispute.
Bacillus pyogenes is Gram-positive and pleomorphic, producing forms ranging from short chains of streptococcoid elements to branching filaments.
It is hemolytic, producing the beta type of hemolysis in blood agar. It is not hemoglobinophilic, though its growth is greatly favored by some higher protein material such as egg albumin, serum, or blood.
It ferments xylose in addition to the substances previously reported.
The coagulation of milk by Bacillus pyogenes is primarily an enzyme coagulation and the subsequent digestion of the curd takes place in an acid medium.
The intravenous injection of rabbits was invariably fatal. The lesions most commonly developed were those of the bones. Paralysis was frequently produced, and in each case was caused by lesions in the vertebrae exerting pressure against the ventral columns of the spinal cord. Muscle abscesses were also frequently produced.
The authors regard the organism as belonging to the Corynebacteria rather than to the influenza group.