What is group A Streptococcus (GAS)?

Updated: Sep 07, 2018
  • Author: Zartash Zafar Khan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Answer

Infection with Streptococcus pyogenes, a beta-hemolytic bacterium that belongs to Lancefield serogroup A, also known as the group A streptococci (GAS), causes a wide variety of diseases in humans. A ubiquitous organism, S pyogenes is the most common bacterial cause of acute pharyngitis, accounting for 15-30% of cases in children and 5-10% of cases in adults. [1] During the winter and spring in temperate climates, up to 20% of asymptomatic school-aged children may be group A streptococcus carriers. (See Pathophysiology, Etiology, and Epidemiology.) [2, 3]


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