This Gram positive coccus is most frequently found in pairs and short to long chains of spherical or ovoid cells. Cells are catalase negative and exhibit facultatively anaerobic metabolism. Some strains can grow at 45 C. This organism has been used in genetic studies. It is isolated from dental plaque and from other parts of the mouth, only detected after the appearance of teeth in an infant’s mouth. Also found in some cases of bacterial endocarditis and in other body secretions, and it has even been recovered from soil. It is a common cause of subacute endocarditis when it gains access to the circulatory system.