Streptococcus pyogenes is a gram positive bacterium which is spherical in shape. It is the cause of GAS or Group A streptococcus infections. It is also called GABHS or group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus because of its capability to disrupt erythrocytes. It is usually a pathogenic part of the skin flora. What are the streptococcus pyogenes symptoms?
Streptococcus pyogenes causes numerous human diseases that can range from mild skin infections to life threatening systemic diseases. The infection typically starts in the throat in the form of strep throat or the skin in the form of impetigo. If S. pyogenes is left untreated, it can progress deep down the skin and multiply in the fascia. When that happens, it can lead to necrotizing fasciitis which is a life threatening condition that requires surgical intervention.
Symptoms of streptococcus pyogenes are as follows:
1. Sore throat. This is a common symptom of S. pyogenes and if left untreated could lead to complications like scarlet fever or rheumatic heart fever.
2. Rash. A rough rash may occur on the chest which spreads to other parts of the body quickly.
3. Sore on the face. Red sores can be seen on the face a couple of days after experiencing sore throat. The sore would look crusty but not itchy. One rule when dealing with sores is never to touch or pop it as it could spread the infection to other parts of the body.
4. Inflammation of the skin. An identifying factor for streptococcus pyogenes infection is a tender and swollen skin. Usually, the skin on the lower legs would look inflamed.
5. Fever and chills may be experienced. The lymph nodes may also be enlarged and palpable.
6. Tissue damage. Though rare, streptococcus pyogenes could cause tissue damage and sometimes referred as “flesh eating infection”.
Treatment for streptococcus pyogenes includes antibiotic therapy. According to the American Heart Association and the Infectious Diseases Society of America, penicillin serves as the drug of choice for infections caused by streptococcus pyogenes. In case of necrotizing fasciitis, removal of the tissues is required.
One way to transmit streptococcus pyogenes is through direct contact with wound or mucus of infected person. With this, the infected person should exclude himself/ herself from public contact. The person who has been taking antibiotics for 24 hours already is considered non contagious thus could go back to work or school.
If symptoms of streptococcus pyogenes are observed, better see a physician as soon as possible in order to receive appropriate treatment. Do not self medicate and be sure to finish antibiotic therapy in order to prevent antibiotic resistance.