Group a streptococcus emm gene types in pharyngeal isolates, Ontario, Canada, 2002-2010

Patrick R. Shea, Amy L. Ewbank, Javier H. Gonzalez-Lugo, Alexandro J. Martagon-Rosado, Juan C. Martinez-Gutierrez, Hina A. Rehman, Monica Serrano-Gonzalez, Nahuel Fittipaldi, Stephen B. Beres, Anthony R. Flores, Donald E. Low, Barbara M. Willey, James M. Musser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is a human-adapted pathogen that causes a variety of diseases, including pharyngitis and invasive infections. GAS strains are categorized by variation in the nucleotide sequence of the gene (emm) that encodes the M protein. To identify the emm types of GAS strains causing pharyngitis in Ontario, Canada, we sequenced the hypervariable region of the emm gene in 4,635 pharyngeal GAS isolates collected during 2002-2010. The most prevalent emm types varied little from year to year. In contrast, fine-scale geographic analysis identified inter-site variability in the most common emm types. Additionally, we observed fl uctuations in yearly frequency of emm3 strains from pharyngitis patients that coincided with peaks of emm3 invasive infections. We also discovered a striking increase in frequency of emm89 strains among isolates from patients with pharyngitis and invasive disease. These findings about the epidemiology of GAS are potentially useful for vaccine research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2010-2017
Number of pages8
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Volume17
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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