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J Infect. 2010 Jun;60(6):417-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2010.03.011. Epub 2010 Mar 30.

Invasive group A streptococcal infection in pregnancy.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, N15W7 Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8638, Japan.


We conducted a literature review of 55 pregnancies with symptomatic Group A streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes) infection reported in English (20 cases), French (2 cases) and Japanese (33 cases) to seek ways of improving prognosis. Multiparous women (83% [39/47]) in the third trimester (90% [47/52]) were prone to infection from winter to spring (75% [21/28]). Onset was heralded by flu-like symptoms, such as high fever (94% [46/49]), with upper respiratory (40% [22/55]) and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (49% [27/55]). Characteristic findings were early onset of shock (91% [50/55]) and infection-induced strong uterine contraction (73% [40/55]) suggestive of placental abruption. The clinical course was too acute and severe to rescue the mother (58% [32/55] died) and/or infant (66% [39/59] died). However, outcome has improved over the last decade, with rescue of 68% (15/22) of the mothers since 2000, and early use of antibiotics (71% [22/31] survived) and use of intravenous immunoglobulin (91% [10/11] survived) were associated with favourable outcome. Early use of antibiotics and intravenous immunoglobulin may improve outcome of pregnant women suffering from flu-like symptoms, shock and strong uterine contractions suggestive of placental abruption.

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