Molecular insight into invasive group A streptococcal disease

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2011 Sep 16;9(10):724-36. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2648.


Streptococcus pyogenes is also known as group A Streptococcus (GAS) and is an important human pathogen that causes considerable morbidity and mortality worldwide. The GAS serotype M1T1 clone is the most frequently isolated serotype from life-threatening invasive (at a sterile site) infections, such as streptococcal toxic shock-like syndrome and necrotizing fasciitis. Here, we describe the virulence factors and newly discovered molecular events that mediate the in vivo changes from non-invasive GAS serotype M1T1 to the invasive phenotype, and review the invasive-disease trigger for non-M1 GAS. Understanding the molecular basis and mechanism of initiation for streptococcal invasive disease may expedite the discovery of novel therapeutic targets for the treatment and control of severe invasive GAS diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Serotyping
  • Streptococcal Infections / epidemiology
  • Streptococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Streptococcal Infections / pathology
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / genetics
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / immunology
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / pathogenicity*
  • Virulence Factors / genetics
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Virulence Factors