The heterogeneity of endemic community pediatric group A streptococcal pharyngeal isolates and their relationship to invasive isolates

Heather A. Haukness, Robert R. Tanz, Richard B. Thomson, Deirdre K. Pierry, Edward L. Kaplan, Bernard Beall, Dwight Johnson, Nancy P. Hoe, James M. Musser, Stanford T. Shulman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

By use of molecular techniques, the genetic heterogeneity of 63 community pediatric pharyngeal group A streptococcal (GAS) isolates circulating within a 3-week period were compared with 17 contemporaneous invasive pediatric isolates. Pharyngitis isolates represented 16 pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns with 12 emm serotypes, and invasive isolates represented 10 PFGE patterns with 9 emm serotypes. One-fourth of the pharyngeal isolates (16/63) were identical to at least 1 invasive isolate; conversely, 10 (59%) of 17 invasive isolates were identical to at least 1 pharyngeal strain, sic allele analysis of emm1 strains demonstrated additional heterogeneity and overlap. More pharyngeal (71%) than invasive isolates (35%) were positive for both speA and speC (P < .02). Many pharyngitis GAS strains circulate simultaneously. Most invasive pediatric GAS strains are identical to acute pharyngitis strains; thus, childhood pharyngitis is a major reservoir for strains with invasive potential. Pharyngeal isolates were more likely to be speA and speC positive than were the invasive isolates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)915-920
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume185
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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