Invasive group A, B, C and G streptococcal infections in Denmark 1999-2002: epidemiological and clinical aspects

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2005 Jul;11(7):569-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2005.01169.x.


Group A streptococci (GAS) have been described frequently as an emerging cause of severe invasive infections in population-based surveillance studies, whereas the descriptions of group B, C and G streptococci (GBS, GCS and GGS) have been less frequent. Enhanced surveillance for invasive GAS, GBS, GCS and GGS was performed in Denmark in 1999-2002. A detailed questionnaire was completed for 1237 (98%) of 1260 invasive infections. GAS infections dominated (40%), followed by GGS (32%), GBS (23%) and GCS (6%). Most (74%) patients had predisposing factors, and there were no significant differences between the four serogroups when comparing the prevalence of cancer, diabetes mellitus, chronic heart or lung diseases, immunodeficiency or alcohol abuse. The overall case fatality rate at day 30 was 21%, increasing significantly to 59% for patients with streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS). STSS was significantly more frequent in GAS patients (10%) than in GCS (4%), GBS (2%) and GGS (2%) patients. Regression analyses showed that, despite a younger median age among GAS patients, the probability of developing septic shock and mortality was significantly higher among GAS patients than among GBS and GGS patients. These analyses showed no significant differences between GAS and GCS infections. Invasive infections caused by GAS, GBS, GCS and GGS are still a major challenge for clinicians. Continued epidemiological and microbiological surveillance is important to assess the development of these infections and to improve preventative strategies.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Causality
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Risk Factors
  • Streptococcal Infections / complications
  • Streptococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Streptococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Streptococcal Infections / mortality
  • Streptococcus / isolation & purification
  • Streptococcus / pathogenicity*
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / pathogenicity*
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / pathogenicity*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires