Pharyngitis: How the most virulent superbug causing serious infections strikes

Streptococcus pyogenes can cause different diseases such as pharyngitis, scarlet fever, erysipelas (skin infection), otitis media, and puerperal fever. In some cases, developing an invasive infection can lead to death (Getty Images)

Argentina has experienced an epidemic this year caused by bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes This results in More people affected by pharyngitis and invasive infections will be diagnosed. Countries such as Europe, the United States, and Uruguay had already discovered the epidemic in December last year, and the World Health Organization (WHO) also issued an alert.

“What explains this outbreak is that they are spreading More virulent strains of bacteria This results in more people being affected and increases the risk of developing invasive infections,” he explains database doctor Eduardo LopezDirector of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Director of the Department of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires Ricardo Gutierrez Children’s Hospital and former president Pediatric Infection Society (Sadeep).

In Argentina, the number of cases in 2023 is equivalent to increased by 281% Compared with the same period in 2019.already have 16 deaths reported Last July by Ministry of Health.

of scientists ANLIS/Malbrand Institute They found three isolates from patient samples containing highly virulent M1UK bacterial clones. It is a cloned virus that has spread rapidly in other countries and has been associated with an increase in cases of scarlet fever and invasive infections. This clone corresponds to a new lineage of pandemic strain M1T1 (M1global).

In Argentina, patient samples carrying the highly virulent M1UK clone of Streptococcus pyogenes were identified (Griffith University)

ANLIS/Malbrán researchers also identified a group of seven genetically closely related S. pyogenes M1 isolates. The expert group clarified in the latest epidemiological bulletin from the Ministry of Health that the organization obtained “a mobile genetic element encoding the superantigenic toxin SpeC.”

He said: “The scientific research results remind citizens that they must consult in time, treat as instructed, treat every case seriously and conduct adequate follow-up.” Andrea Uboldi,member National Committee on Immunization (CoNaIn)this argentine pediatric society and Argentine Society of Vaccinology and Epidemiology (SAVE)in conversation database.

Dr. Lopez said, “The bacteria that cause pharyngitis usually spread more in the winter. There were more cases of invasive infections in the first half of the year, but now the curve of cases will slow down. “The situation will stabilize.”

Given the symptoms of pharyngitis, the patient should undergo a swab to determine whether the infection is caused by Streptococcus pyogenes. Penicillin will then be prescribed (Getty)

The doctor said, in Ricardo Gutierrez Children’s Hospital In Buenos Aires, 23% of pharyngitis cases are caused by Streptococcus pyogenes This year. On the other hand, this proportion was only 15% in previous years.

Some infected patients develop severe symptoms. In these cases, the bacteria release toxins and so-called "Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome“. Lopez clarified that when toxic shock occurs, the mortality rate can range from 10 to 30 percent.

Greater risk of invasive disease due to type of circulating strain. “That is why in the case of pharyngitis, it is very convenient to perform a swab test on the patient. If positive, the use of penicillin should be indicated. Now there are rapid methods that can diagnose the infection within 30 minutes.” Experts advise.

The definitive diagnosis of pharyngitis is through culture analysis of a swab (Getty)

he Streptococcus pyogenes It is spread through direct contact with an infected person. According to the Ministry of Health, the bacteria can be spread through coughing, sneezing or contact with wounds.

most common signs Tonsillitis or angina They include fever, discomfort with swallowing, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. For superficial skin infections, symptoms may be: fever, pain in a specific area, redness, and, if the condition progresses, small blisters and scabs.

For those who are in close contact with someone affected by this bacteria, ANLIS/Malbrán experts advise that they should learn how to prevent and recognize the signs of the disease.

“Those who have been in contact with an infected person are advised to seek medical advice if they develop symptoms such as fever, sore throat, muscle pain in specific areas or any other signs of infection. Streptococcus pyogenesimmediately go to the health system,” they declared.

The incubation period for this disease varies, ranging from 1 to 3 days. Generally speaking, treatment with antibiotics for at least 24 hours usually eliminates the chance of an infected person spreading the bacteria.

Streptococcus pyogenes is a Gram-positive bacterium and is the most common bacterial cause of acute pharyngitis (Getty Images)

It’s believed the coronavirus pandemic may make it easier for bacteria to survive Streptococcus pyogenes Evolves into more aggressive and harmful forms in humans.

To prevent strep throat, the Ministry of Health recommends:

– Disinfect your hands regularly with soap and water.

-Clean the space daily and keep the air flowing.

– If you develop symptoms, you must rest and do not go to work or school.

– Avoid self-medication.

– When coughing or sneezing, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow or use a disposable tissue to prevent spreading the disease to others.

To date, there is no vaccine to prevent Streptococcus pyogenes. However, it is crucial to keep vaccination programs updated to prevent other conditions that may promote infection with this bacteria.

Streptococcus pyogenes, like other diseases such as influenza and respiratory synchronous virus (RSV), has an increasing impact on the population following the COVID-19 pandemic (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

Treatment is based on antibiotic Prescribed by a health professional.this is crucial Do not self-medicate And follow treatment strictly to avoid recurrence or complications.

You should consult if you have a fever (temperature above 37°8) accompanied by any of the following symptoms: sore throat, localized skin pain, redness and/or small blisters.

If contagion can be avoided, it is recommended to seek medical treatment at home or in a place with less flow of people. Otherwise, you should go to the nearest health center in accordance with the regulations of the national health department.

continue reading:

Argentina sounds alarm over highly virulent clone of pharyngitis bacteria
Children under 10 most affected by increase in pharyngitis cases
Argentina sounds alarm over rise in bacteria that causes pharyngitis, causing nearly 120 cases and 16 deaths

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