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Vojnosanit Pregl. 2011 Jul;68(7):607-10.

Group A streptococcal cellulitis in the early puerperium.

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University of Belgrade, School of Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic "Narodni front", Belgrade, Serbia.



Infectious diseases caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, a member of the group A Streptococci (GAS) are among the most common life threatening ones. Patients with GAS infections have a poor survival rate. Cellulitis is a severe invasive GAS infection and the most common clinical presentation of the disease associated with more deaths than it can be seen in other GAS infections. According to the literature data, most cases of GAS toxic shock syndrome are developed in the puerperium. However, there are two main problems with GAS infection in early puerperium and this case report is aimed at reminding on them. The first problem is an absence of awareness that it can be postpartal invasive GAS infection before the microbiology laboratory confirms it, and the second one is that we have little knowledge about GAS infection, in general.


A 32-year-old healthy woman, gravida 1, para 1, was hospitalized three days after vaginal delivery with a 38-hour history of fever, pain in the left leg (under the knee), and head injury after short period of conscious lost. Clinical picture of GAS infection was cellulites. Group A Streptoccocus pyogenes was isolated in vaginal culture. Rapid antibiotic and supportive treatment stopped development of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) and potential multiorganic failure. Signs and symptoms of the infection lasted 25 days, and complete recovery of the patient almost 50 days.


In all women in childbed with a history of fever early after delivery, vaginal and cervical culture specimens should be taken as soon as possible. Early recognition of GAS infection in early puerperium and prompt initiation of antimicrobial drug and supportive therapy can prevent development of STSS and lethal outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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