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Volume 34, Number 3, September 2001

Characteristics of group A streptococcal bacteremia with comparison between children and adults

Yi-Chuan Huang, Yhu-Chering Huang, Cheng-Hsun Chiu, Luan-Yin Chang, Hsieh-Shong Leu, Tzou-Yien Lin
Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Chang Gung Children's Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan, ROC



This retrospective study aimed to compare the characteristics of group A streptococcal bacteremia in children and adults. A total of 76 (12 children and 64 adults) patients with group A streptococcal bacteremia treated from October 1995 through September 2000 at the Linko Chang Gung Memorial Hospital were included. The mean age was 47.6 years (range, 12 days-90 years). Forty-four (57.9%) patients had predisposing medical conditions. Malignant cancer (23.7%) and diabetes (22.4%) were the 2 most common conditions, which occurred only in adults. Two (16.7%) children had chickenpox associated with secondary group A streptococcal bacteremia. Skin and soft tissue infection (60.5%) was the most common clinical manifestation. The mortality rate related to group A streptococcal bacteremia was 25%. Twelve patients met the criteria of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome and 6 (50%) were children (p<0.05). Despite immediate and aggressive treatment, mortality due to streptococcal toxic shock syndrome was 66.7%. The incidence of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome was much higher in children (50%) than in adults (9.4%). Early diagnosis of invasive group A streptococcal infections and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome requires awareness of the presentations and a high level of suspicion. For fulminant group A streptococcal infection, a combination of a beta-lactam antibiotic plus clindamycin and/or adjuvant therapy with intravenous immunoglobulin is recommended.



J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2001;34:195-200.