The severity of streptococcal infections depends upon different virulence of individual strains of its causative agent. The most important species are beta-haemolytic group A streptococci (GAS). Clinical manifestations include skin affections, respiratory tract infections and, in particular, serious systemic invasive infections. The pathogenicity of GAS is derived from cell wall components and extracellular products, especially toxins with properties of the so-called superantigens. Less invasive forms of the disease are include necrotizing fasciitis, myositis, pneumonia, sepsis without focus, arthritis, meningitis, puerperal sepsis, streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) and severe course of erysipelas and cellulitis with blood culture positive for GAS. In most cases, soft tissue infections dominate, often accompanied by chronic diseases of lower extremities in elderly patients. The other clinical forms are rather rare. In children, the condition is clearly frequently related to chickenpox. The generally accepted therapeutic management comprises comprehensive intensive care, early administration of penicillin in combination with clindamycin, and surgical intervention. The use of intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG), elimination methods and hyperbaric oxygen are under discussion. The slight increase in cases and ineffective prevention require rapid assessment of diagnosis and adequate treatment as a protracted course of the condition is connected with a high mortality rate.
Kosina, Plísek, Dostál, Morávková, Cermák, Preis, Lukes, Kracmarová, (2007). [Invasive streptococcal infections]. Klinicka mikrobiologie a infekcni lekarstvi, 2007 Dec;13(6):220-4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18320500