How many serologic groups have been identified for beta-hemolytic streptococci (BHS)?

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

As originally described by Lancefield, beta-hemolytic streptococci can be divided into many groups based on the antigenic differences in group-specific polysaccharides located in the bacterial cell wall. More than 20 serologic groups have been identified and designated by letters (eg, A, B, C). Of the non–group A streptococci, group B is the most important human pathogen (the most common cause of neonatal sepsis and bacteremia), although other groups (particularly group G) have occasionally been implicated as causes of pharyngitis. (See Pathophysiology.)


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