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Immunol Invest. 1997 Jan-Feb;26(1-2):129-50.

The toxins of group A streptococcus, the flesh eating bacteria.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Boise, Idaho, USA.


Streptococcus pyogenes causes a wide variety of infections in individuals of all ages in most countries of the world. Because of the frequency with which these infections occur, physicians are quite familiar with the diversity of clinical presentations associated with the Group A streptococcus. Yet in the late 1980's, a severe form of streptococcal infection, the Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome, emerged and has persisted for the last 10 years. This syndrome is associated with invasive soft tissue infections and the early onset of shock and organ failure. The purpose of this paper is to briefly describe the epidemiologic and clinical features of the Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndromes and to emphasize the role that toxins produced by S. pyogenes play in the pathogenesis of this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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