68 research outputs found

    Spread of a highly mucoid Streptococcus pyogenes emm3/ST15 clone

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Hyaluronic acid capsule plays a key role in <it>Streptococcus pyogenes </it>virulence. Circulation of mucoid or highly encapsulated strains has been related to rheumatic fever epidemics and invasive disease in several countries. In 2009, an outbreak of mucoid <it>S. pyogenes </it>isolates was detected in northern Spain. The aim of the study was to describe clinical and molecular characteristics of mucoid strains causing this outbreak and to compare them with a sample of non-mucoid <it>S. pyogenes </it>isolates obtained during the same period of time.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>All <it>S. pyogenes </it>isolates with a mucoid colony morphology (n = 132), 10% of non-mucoid (n = 144) and all invasive <it>S. pyogenes </it>isolates (n = 7) obtained in 2009 were included. Characterization was performed by T-agglutination, <it>emm </it>typing, pulsed field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>One clone characterized as <it>emm</it>3.1/ST15 comprised 98.5% (n = 130) of all mucoid isolates. Subjects of all ages were affected. Main clinical manifestations were pharyngitis and scarlet fever, but this clone also caused invasive disease: two cases of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, one arthritis, and one celullitis with a fatal outcome. Mucoid isolates were more prone to cause invasive disease than non-mucoid isolates (p = 0.001).</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Although no acute rheumatic fever cases were detected, the most worrisome characteristics of this clone were the success for causing invasive disease and the merge of two virulent features: the serotype, <it>emm</it>3, and capsule hyper-production, expressed as a mucoid morphology.</p

    Serum Penicillin G Levels Are Lower Than Expected in Adults within Two Weeks of Administration of 1.2 Million Units

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    When introduced in the 1950s, benzathine penicillin G (BPG) was shown to be effective in eradicating group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus (GAS) for at least 3 weeks after administration. Several studies since the 1990s suggest that at 3–4 weeks serum penicillin G levels are less than adequate (below MIC90 of 0.016 µg/ml). We studied these levels for 4 weeks after the recommended dose of BPG in military recruits, for whom it is used as prophylaxis against GAS. The 329 subjects (mean age 20 years) each received 1.2 million units BPG IM and gave sera 1 day post injection and twice more at staggered time points over 4 weeks. Serum penicillin G levels were measured by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectometry. The half-life of serum penicillin G was 4.1 days. By day 11, mean levels were <0.02 µg/ml, and by day 15<0.01 µg/ml. Levels in more than 50% of the subjects were below 0.02 µg/ml on day 9, and <.01 µg/ml on day 16. There was no demonstrable effect of subject body-surface area nor of the four different lots of BPG used. These data indicate that in healthy young adults serum penicillin G levels become less than protective <2½ weeks after injection of 1.2 million units of BPG. The findings require serious consideration in future medical and public health recommendations for treatment and prophylaxis of GAS upper respiratory tract infections

    Differences between Belgian and Brazilian Group A Streptococcus Epidemiologic Landscape

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    BACKGROUND: Group A Streptococcus (GAS) clinical and molecular epidemiology varies with location and time. These differences are not or are poorly understood. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We prospectively studied the epidemiology of GAS infections among children in outpatient hospital clinics in Brussels (Belgium) and Brasília (Brazil). Clinical questionnaires were filled out and microbiological sampling was performed. GAS isolates were emm-typed according to the Center for Disease Control protocol. emm pattern was predicted for each isolate. 334 GAS isolates were recovered from 706 children. Skin infections were frequent in Brasília (48% of the GAS infections), whereas pharyngitis were predominant (88%) in Brussels. The mean age of children with GAS pharyngitis in Brussels was lower than in Brasília (65/92 months, p<0.001). emm-typing revealed striking differences between Brazilian and Belgian GAS isolates. While 20 distinct emm-types were identified among 200 Belgian isolates, 48 were found among 128 Brazilian isolates. Belgian isolates belong mainly to emm pattern A–C (55%) and E (42.5%) while emm pattern E (51.5%) and D (36%) were predominant in Brasília. In Brasília, emm pattern D isolates were recovered from 18.5% of the pharyngitis, although this emm pattern is supposed to have a skin tropism. By contrast, A–C pattern isolates were unfrequently recovered in a region where rheumatic fever is still highly prevalent. CONCLUSIONS: Epidemiologic features of GAS from a pediatric population were very different in an industrialised country and a low incomes region, not only in term of clinical presentation, but also in terms of genetic diversity and distribution of emm patterns. These differences should be taken into account for designing treatment guidelines and vaccine strategies

    Beneficial use of immunoglobulins in the treatment of Sydenham chorea

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    This double case report indicates that treatment with intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) is effective in patients with Sydenham chorea (SC). SC is a rare but impressive clinical manifestation following streptococcal infection. This movement disorder characterised by chorea, emotional lability and muscle weakness, is one of the major criteria of acute rheumatic fever. Treatment of SC is typically limited to supportive care and palliative medications. Curative treatment is still in the experimental stage. Recent research on patients with SC proved that antibodies against the group A streptococcus cross-react with epitopes of neurons in the basal ganglia, namely, intracellular tubulin and extracellular lysoganglioside. Therefore, immune modulating therapy by means of prednisone, plasma exchange and IVIG are mentioned in the literature as possible effective treatment. Beneficial effect of IVIG has been shown in several diseases with molecular mimicry as the underlying pathophysiology. In this paper, we describe two girls aged 11 and 13 years, respectively, who presented with SC having severe disabilities in their daily live. We treated both patients with IVIG 400 mg/kg/day for 5 days. Treatment was tolerated well and had a pronounced positive effect. Shortly after the drug was administered, all signs and symptoms disappeared in both patients. Based upon these patients, we highlight IVIG as a serious treatment option for SC

    Streptococcus iniae M-Like Protein Contributes to Virulence in Fish and Is a Target for Live Attenuated Vaccine Development

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    Streptococcus iniae is a significant pathogen in finfish aquaculture, though knowledge of virulence determinants is lacking. Through pyrosequencing of the S. iniae genome we have identified two gene homologues to classical surface-anchored streptococcal virulence factors: M-like protein (simA) and C5a peptidase (scpI).S. iniae possesses a Mga-like locus containing simA and a divergently transcribed putative mga-like regulatory gene, mgx. In contrast to the Mga locus of group A Streptococcus (GAS, S. pyogenes), scpI is located distally in the chromosome. Comparative sequence analysis of the Mgx locus revealed only one significant variant, a strain with an insertion frameshift mutation in simA and a deletion mutation in a region downstream of mgx, generating an ORF which may encode a second putative mga-like gene, mgx2. Allelic exchange mutagenesis of simA and scpI was employed to investigate the potential role of these genes in S. iniae virulence. Our hybrid striped bass (HSB) and zebrafish models of infection revealed that M-like protein contributes significantly to S. iniae pathogenesis whereas C5a peptidase-like protein does not. Further, in vitro cell-based analyses indicate that SiMA, like other M family proteins, contributes to cellular adherence and invasion and provides resistance to phagocytic killing. Attenuation in our virulence models was also observed in the S. iniae isolate possessing a natural simA mutation. Vaccination of HSB with the Delta simA mutant provided 100% protection against subsequent challenge with a lethal dose of wild-type (WT) S. iniae after 1,400 degree days, and shows promise as a target for live attenuated vaccine development.Analysis of M-like protein and C5a peptidase through allelic replacement revealed that M-like protein plays a significant role in S. iniae virulence, and the Mga-like locus, which may regulate expression of this gene, has an unusual arrangement. The M-like protein mutant created in this research holds promise as live-attenuated vaccine

    Contribution of Exogenous Genetic Elements to the Group A Streptococcus Metagenome

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    Variation in gene content among strains of a bacterial species contributes to biomedically relevant differences in phenotypes such as virulence and antimicrobial resistance. Group A Streptococcus (GAS) causes a diverse array of human infections and sequelae, and exhibits a complex pathogenic behavior. To enhance our understanding of genotype-phenotype relationships in this important pathogen, we determined the complete genome sequences of four GAS strains expressing M protein serotypes (M2, M4, and 2 M12) that commonly cause noninvasive and invasive infections. These sequences were compared with eight previously determined GAS genomes and regions of variably present gene content were assessed. Consistent with the previously determined genomes, each of the new genomes is ∼1.9 Mb in size, with ∼10% of the gene content of each encoded on variably present exogenous genetic elements. Like the other GAS genomes, these four genomes are polylysogenic and prophage encode the majority of the variably present gene content of each. In contrast to most of the previously determined genomes, multiple exogenous integrated conjugative elements (ICEs) with characteristics of conjugative transposons and plasmids are present in these new genomes. Cumulatively, 242 new GAS metagenome genes were identified that were not present in the previously sequenced genomes. Importantly, ICEs accounted for 41% of the new GAS metagenome gene content identified in these four genomes. Two large ICEs, designated 2096-RD.2 (63 kb) and 10750-RD.2 (49 kb), have multiple genes encoding resistance to antimicrobial agents, including tetracycline and erythromycin, respectively. Also resident on these ICEs are three genes encoding inferred extracellular proteins of unknown function, including a predicted cell surface protein that is only present in the genome of the serotype M12 strain cultured from a patient with acute poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis. The data provide new information about the GAS metagenome and will assist studies of pathogenesis, antimicrobial resistance, and population genomics