Streptococcal diseases

Streptococcal diseases:

It comprises three types:

  • Non invasive Streptococcal disease
  • Invasive soft tissue infection
  • Non suppurative sequelae or post streptococcal diseases

Non invasive Streptococcal disease:

The most general infections caused by Str. pyogenes are somewhat mild and non invasive infections of the upper respiratory tract (i.e., pharyngitis) and skin (i.e., impetigo).

a. Pharyngitis:

The most general infection of Str. pyogenes is pharyngitis. Sudden onset of sore throat, malaise, fever, and headache that are the clinical signs which develop 2-4 days after exposure. The posterior pharynx is affected. The tonsil is enlarged with grey-white exudates on its surface. Since of the local inflammation cervical lymph nodes make bigger. Seldom tonsilar abscess develops.

b. Scarlet fever:

Some strains of Str. pyogenes generate pyrogenic exotoxin. Whenever such strains cause infections, a diffuse erythematous rash builds up over skin and mucous membranes. This situation is termed as scarlantina or scarlet fever. The rash generates 1-2 days after the first symptoms of pharyngitis. Originally it develops on the upper chest and then spreads to the extremities.

c. Skin infections:

i. Impetigo or pyoderma:

Str. pyogenes might cause numerous kinds of skin infections. Impetigo is a superficial and localized skin infection. It takes place mainly in children. It affects exposed regions of face, arms and legs. Primarily clear vesicles develop that are within few days filled with pus. Secondary spread is seen as the outcome of scratching.

ii. Erysipelas (cellulitis):

It is an acute infection which takes place in the superficial layers of the skin. The infection is distinguished by diffuse redness of skin, local pain, enlargement of regional lymph nodes and fever. When not treated promptly, it might spread to blood stream and might be fatal.


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