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J Infect Dis. 1997 Oct;176(4):992-1000.

Invasive group A streptococcal infections in North Carolina: epidemiology, clinical features, and genetic and serotype analysis of causative organisms.

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University of North Carolina Hospitals, and Department of Microbiology/Immunology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, USA.


During 1994 and 1995, an increase in the number and severity of group A streptococcal (GAS) infections was noted in North Carolina. Ninety-six patients had GAS recovered from blood and other sterile body fluids, abscesses, and soft tissue. The overall case fatality rate was 11% but was much higher in patients with toxic shock syndrome (55%) and necrotizing fasciitis (58%). Recent invasive GAS isolates were compared with pre-1994 invasive isolates and temporally related pharyngeal isolates by M protein serotyping, pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and polymerase chain reaction amplification of the streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin A gene. Serotypes M1 and M3 accounted for 50% of recent invasive isolates (1994-1995) and 58% of pharyngeal isolates (1994). The latter isolates demonstrated PFGE patterns that were identical to invasive M1 and M3 strains, suggesting that pharyngeal infections may have served as a reservoir for virulent GAS clones.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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