Group A Streptococcal Infections
Alternate Names : GAS Infection
Group A streptococcal infections are caused by a group of bacteria in the streptococcus family. These infections include strep throat, scarlet fever, and others.
What is going on in the body?
Group A streptococcal, or GAS, bacteria are often found on the skin and in the throat of healthy individuals. Most of the time, GAS bacteria cause no symptoms at all. At other times, these bacteria affect various parts of the body and cause an infection. GAS infections include the following:
necrotizing fasciitis, a serious disease of the deep tissue layers
scarlet fever, in which a toxin causes a rash after a streptococcal infection
septic arthritis, which is a joint infection
skin infections, including impetigo and cellulitis
toxic shock syndrome, a life-threatening infection of the bloodstream
What are the causes and risks of the infection?
GAS infections are caused by certain strains of streptococcal bacteria. People who have underlying diseases such as diabetes can have more serious infections. Those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk. Chickenpox infection in children is now known to be a risk for serious GAS disease.