How does group A streptococcal (GAS) infection cause necrotizing fasciitis (streptococcal gangrene/fasciitis)?

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

Necrotizing fasciitis caused by S pyogenes (so-called streptococcal gangrene) is an acute, rapidly progressive, severe, deep-seated infection of the subcutaneous tissue that is associated with extensive destruction of superficial and deep fascia. It may arise following minor trauma or from hematogenous spread of GAS from the throat to a site of blunt trauma or muscle strain. Although any part of the body may be affected, streptococcal fasciitis usually begins on an extremity.


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