Recurrent group A streptococcal vulvovaginitis in adult women: family epidemiology

Clin Infect Dis. 2007 Mar 1;44(5):e43-5. doi: 10.1086/510678. Epub 2007 Jan 22.


Group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal (GAS) vulvovaginitis has been reported in prepubertal girls. In adult women, a vaginal carrier state has been described, but vulvovaginitis is rarely reported. We describe 2 cases of recurrent GAS vulvovaginitis in women whose husbands were gastrointestinal carriers of GAS. Characterization of the isolated strains demonstrated that identical emm types of GAS were shared by partners. Treatment of both partners resulted in resolution of vaginitis. On the basis of negative vaginal culture results obtained after treatment of each individual episode of vaginitis, we believe that the female patients were reinfected as a result of exposure to their husbands, with shedding likely to have occurred in bed. These cases reiterate the necessity for adequate screening of the patient's family and contacts in cases of recurrent GAS infection by culturing all potential areas of GAS carriage.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carrier State
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious*
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Streptococcal Infections / diagnosis
  • Streptococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Streptococcal Infections / transmission*
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / isolation & purification*
  • Vulvovaginitis / diagnosis
  • Vulvovaginitis / microbiology*