Apparent increase in the incidence of invasive group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal disease in children

J Pediatr. 1991 Mar;118(3):341-6. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(05)82144-4.


Recently, among adults, an increase in the incidence of invasive disease caused by group A beta-hemolytic streptococci (GABS) has been noted, as has the appearance of a severe illness called "toxic shock-like syndrome," also caused by GABS. We now report an apparent increase beginning in 1987 in the incidence of invasive disease caused by GABS in children. Among these patients the manifestations were varied. One child had signs and symptoms compatible with the streptococcal toxic shock-like syndrome. Among the GABS isolates from our patients, 8 (80%) of 10 evaluated for M-protein antigens were nontypeable. Further studies will be necessary to determine the relationship between serotypes and virulence of GABS. Physicians should be aware of the possibility of an increasing incidence of invasive GABS disease in children, as well as its manifestations, which may include toxic shock-like syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Pharyngitis / microbiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sepsis / microbiology
  • Serotyping
  • Shock, Septic / epidemiology*
  • Shock, Septic / microbiology
  • Streptococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Streptococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Streptococcus pyogenes* / classification
  • Streptococcus pyogenes* / isolation & purification