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Microb Pathog. 1999 Oct;27(4):243-52.

Comparison of pathogenic factors expressed by group A Streptococci isolated from patients with streptococcal toxic shock syndrome and scarlet fever.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo Women's Medical University, Tokyo, Japan.


Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) is an illness with high mortality. To obtain clues to understanding the pathogenesis of STSS, we investigated the expression of several pathogenic factors in ten group A streptococcus (GAS) isolates from ten patients with STSS in Japan, in comparison with ten GAS isolates from children with scarlet fever. The ten scarlet fever-derived GAS isolates were equally low in lethality and anti-phagocytic activity in mice and in the production of streptolysin O (SLO), and equally high in production of superantigenic exotoxins (SAGTs) and cysteine proteinase. By comparison, the ten STSS-derived GAS isolates were heterogeneous in the expression of the above pathogenic factors, which ranged from low to high values. Most of the ten STSS-derived isolates were higher in lethality and anti-phagocytic activity and production of SLO, and lower in the production of SAGTs and cysteine proteinase than the ten scarlet fever-derived isolates. The results suggest that the lethality and anti-phagocytic activity examined in mice and SLO may be involved mainly in the development of most of the ten STSS cases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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