Streptococcus spp

From Guinea Pig

Streptococcus spp are a common commensal bacteria which cause respiratory and skin diseases in guinea pigs worldwide.

Species which are pathogenic to guinea pigs include:

  • Streptococcus equi zooepidemicus
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Streptococcus pyogenes[1] (septic arthritis)

Guinea pigs clinically affected by Streptococcus equi zooepidemicus often show signs of respiratory disease such as fever, dyspnea, coughing, anorexia and lethargy. Abrasions of the mouth are a common site for bacterial entry into the circulation. Streptococcus pneumoniae is usually associated with upper respiratory disease.

Treatment usually involves use of a broad-spectrum antimicrobial such chloramphenicol (50 mg/kg, PO, bid for 14 days).

Diagnosis is based on presenting clinical signs supported by isolation of Streptococcus spp bacteria on agar culture.

A differential diagnosis would include other causes of respiratory infection such as Bordetella spp as well as cavian leukemia.


  1. al-Mobireek AF et al (2000) Experimental induction of rheumatoid arthritis in temporomandibular joint of the guinea pig: a clinical and radiographic study. Dentomaxillofac Radiol 29(5):286-290