Pathogenesis of Group A Streptococcal Infections and Their Sequelae

  • Madeleine W. Cunningham
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 609)

Streptococcus pyogenesor group A streptococci are Gram positive extracellular bacterial pathogens which colonize the throat or skin and are responsible for a number of suppurative infections and non-suppurative sequelae (Cunningham 2000). As pathogens they evade host defense mechanisms and exhibit a group of virulence determinants. Group A streptococci are a common cause of bacterial pharyngitis, scarlet fever or impetigo. The concept of distinct throat and skin strains arose from decades of epidemiological studies, where it became evident that there were serotypes of group A streptococci with a strong tendency to cause throat infection, and similarly, there were other serotypes often associated with skin infections (Bisno 1995b). The group A streptococcus is most well recognized for streptococcal toxic shock syndrome and necrotizing fasciitis which involves destruction of the skin and soft tissues in severe cases (Stevens 2000).


Rheumatic Fever Necrotizing Fasciitis Rheumatic Heart Disease Streptococcal Infection Acute Rheumatic Fever 


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© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Madeleine W. Cunningham
    • 1
  1. 1.George Lynn Cross Research Professor, Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Biomedical Research CenterOklahoma City

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