Hemolysis on blood agar where a zone of clearing surrounding a bacterial colony indicates complete lysis of red blood cells.
The hemolytic reactions of streptococci on blood agar plates can be used for their preliminary identification and classification. For instance, Streptococcus pneumoniae forms alpha hemolysis, Streptococcus pyogenes forms beta hemolysis, and Enterococcus faecalis displays gamma hemolysis on blood agar plates.
Synonym: complete hemolysis
Compare: alpha hemolysis, gamma hemolysis