What causes scarlet fever?

Updated: Jun 21, 2019
  • Author: Bahman Sotoodian, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Scarlet fever is a streptococcal disease. Streptococci are gram-positive cocci that grow in chains. They are classified by their ability to produce a zone of hemolysis on blood agar and by differences in carbohydrate cell wall components (A-H and K-T). They may be alpha-hemolytic (partial hemolysis), beta-hemolytic (complete hemolysis), or gamma-hemolytic (no hemolysis).

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