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J Rheumatol. 1990 Sep;17(9):1230-6.

Septic arthritis due to group C streptococcus: report and review of the literature.

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Division of Rheumatology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor.


A case of polyarticular septic arthritis due to Lancefield group C streptococcus is described and the clinical details of 9 reported cases of septic arthritis due to group C streptococcus reviewed. Several features of the presentation and course of these patients, including polyarticular involvement (4/10), bacteremia (5/10), clinically important dysfunction in other systems (4/10 patients: cardiac, 3; CNS, 2; pneumonia, 1; gastrointestinal, 1), fatal outcome (3/10 patients, 2 during the course of active infection) and poor functional outcome in affected joints (4/7 surviving patients), serve to place group C streptococcus septic arthritis as a syndrome distinct from that usually expected with streptococcal septic arthritis. Specific features of the bacteriology of group C streptococcus are reviewed (including confusion with group A streptococcus when analyzed using nonserologic methods, occasional zoonotic source, and frequency of tolerance to penicillin) in order to emphasize the importance of both the specific identification of this particular streptococcal strain and the initiation of aggressive antibiotic therapy when group C streptococcus is identified as the causative agent in a case of septic arthritis.

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