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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2011 Sep 16;9(10):724-36. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2648.

Molecular insight into invasive group A streptococcal disease.

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Department of Pediatrics, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, 92093-0687, USA.


Streptococcus pyogenes is also known as group A Streptococcus (GAS) and is an important human pathogen that causes considerable morbidity and mortality worldwide. The GAS serotype M1T1 clone is the most frequently isolated serotype from life-threatening invasive (at a sterile site) infections, such as streptococcal toxic shock-like syndrome and necrotizing fasciitis. Here, we describe the virulence factors and newly discovered molecular events that mediate the in vivo changes from non-invasive GAS serotype M1T1 to the invasive phenotype, and review the invasive-disease trigger for non-M1 GAS. Understanding the molecular basis and mechanism of initiation for streptococcal invasive disease may expedite the discovery of novel therapeutic targets for the treatment and control of severe invasive GAS diseases.

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