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Streptococcal infections and their sequelae in the upper respiratory tract.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.


Local sequelae of group A beta-hemolytic streptococci (GABHS) are common and can vary from otitis media, sinusitis, cervical adenitis associated with generalized adenopathy, peritonsillitis and persisting symptoms in spite of therapy, GABHS is one of the pathogens isolated in acute or chronic otitis media and in acute maxillary sinusitis. In cervical adenitis associated with generalized adenopathy GABHS is, along with S. aureus, the most commonly recovered bacteria. In peritonsillitis, GABHS can be recovered alone or in combination with anaerobes in 50% of the cases. These sequelae are usually associated with a slow clinical response to therapy and a high percentage of relapses, reinfections, and chronic infections in the presence of a penicillin-sensitive GABHS. One of the possible causes of these so-called failures is the interference that beta-lactamase producing bacteria can have on the activity of penicillin and similar compounds. When to select a beta-lactamase-resistant antibiotic for the treatment of an apparent penicillin-sensitive infection remains an important area for further research.

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