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Health Agencies Update
September 22/29, 2004

Flesh-Eating Bacteria

JAMA. 2004;292(12):1419. doi:10.1001/jama.292.12.1419-d

Group A streptococcus (GAS) bacteria can cause disease ranging from mild skin infections or strep throat to more serious conditions such as toxic shock syndrome and "flesh-eating" necrotizing fasciitis. Now, recent genome-wide analyses of GAS bacteria by researchers at the Hamilton, Montana-based Rocky Mountain Laboratories (part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) are providing some clues to why some strains are more dangerous than others, a finding that could have implications for vaccine development (Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004;101:11833-11838).

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