What factors are responsible for the emergence of more virulent strains of group A streptococci (GAS)?

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

Evidence suggests that the frequency of severe, invasive group A streptococcal infections is increasing and that strains of streptococci with increased pathogenic potential are appearing. An increasing number of patients are being identified who have various soft-tissue infections that are unusually severe and that are associated with marked systemic toxicity, bacteremia, and shock. Factors responsible for the emergence of these more virulent strains of S pyogenes are not clearly defined, although many of these outbreaks appear to be clonal in nature.


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