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May 17, 1976

Non-Group A β-Hemolytic Streptococcal Infection

Author Affiliations

State University of New York Health Sciences Center Stony Brook

JAMA. 1976;235(20):2190. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260460014007

To the Editor.—  The advice of your consultant, Paul Wehrle, MD (234:430, 1975) that non-group A β-hemolytic streptococci are not respiratory pathogens is probably incorrect. While there has been no evidence to link these organisms with acute rheumatic fever or glomerulonephritis, there is considerable reason to suspect them of being primary respiratory pathogens.Glezen et al1 found a 10.8% frequency of non-group A streptococci in the pharyngeal cultures of college students with sore throats and a 0.2% carrier rate in asymptomatic students. Nine of 42 students with non-group A streptococcal pharyngitis showed a rise in antistreptolysin O titer when paired sera were examined. No mention is made of the treatment these students received. Mogabgab2 found a similarly high incidence of non-group A streptococcal pharyngitis in adults, and often found these organisms to be present in very high titer.I have reviewed the results of 300 consecutive throat cultures