Objective: To determine the clinical, pathologic, and bacteriologic findings in dogs that developed severe invasive infections with group G streptococci (GGS) over a 6-month period in southern Ontario.
Design: Prospective case series.
Animals: 7 dogs n southern Ontario with severe streptococcal infection during a 6-month period.
Procedure: Using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, molecular typing of streptococcal isolates was performed. Isolates were examined for the M protein gene emm1.0, pyrogenic exotoxin genes speA, speB, speF, hyaluronic acid synthase genes hasA, hasB, and for C5a peptidase gene scpA by use of DNA probes or polymerase chain reaction.
Results: 3 dogs with streptococcal shock without necrotizing fasciitis died or were euthanatized within 48 hours of admission, whereas 4 dogs with streptococcal shock and necrotizing fasciitis survived following surgical debridement, supportive medical treatment, and treatment with antibiotics. Of the 6 Lancefield group G streptococcal isolates available for characterization, 5 were Streptococcus canis and 1 had characteristics of group G streptococcal strains of human origin. Results of molecular typing indicated that isolates were unrelated to each other. Examination of the canine isolates for putative virulence genes found in human group A streptococci resulted in identification of the emm1.0 gene only in 1 of the isolates. The canine isolates otherwise lacked virulence genes associated with human group A streptococcal toxic shock infections. CLINICAL-IMPLICATIONS: The development of severe invasive infection in dogs resulting from GGS indicates that a virulent form of GGS has developed in southern Ontario.