How do group A streptococcal (GAS) infections cause scarlet fever and toxic shock syndrome (TSS)?

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

A superantigen-mediated immune response may result in the development of scarlet fever or streptococcal TSS. Scarlet fever is characterized by an upper-body rash, generally following pharyngitis.

Streptococcal TSS is characterized by systemic shock with multiorgan failure, with manifestations that include respiratory failure, acute renal failure, hepatic failure, neurologic symptoms, hematologic abnormalities, and skin findings, among others. This is predominantly associated with M types 1 and 3 that produce pyrogenic exotoxin A, exotoxin B, or both. [6]


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