September 1992

Community-Acquired Invasive Group A ß-Hemolytic Streptococcal Infections in Zuni Indians

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine (Dr Benjamin) and Family Practice (Drs Gershman and Goldberg), Public Health Service Indian Hospital, Zuni, NM.

Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(9):1881-1884. doi:10.1001/archinte.1992.00400210103017

Background.—  Outbreaks of invasive group A β-hemolytic streptococcal (GABS) infections have recently been reported. We observed a high incidence of invasive GABS disease among Native Americans at a small rural community hospital between 1982 and 1991.

Methods.—  A retrospective chart review was performed, and all cases of invasive GABS disease were studied for their clinical features.

Results.—  Sixteen cases of invasive GABS infection were identified during the 10-year study period. The rate of invasive GABS infection was 13.3 cases per 100 000 population per year. Mortality was 25%. Nearly half of the patients presented with systemic signs of sepsis without any obvious source of infection.

Conclusions.—  Our experience documents a high rate of invasive GABS infections in a defined Native American population. To determine whether this population has a unique susceptibility to GABS disease requires further study.(Arch Intern Med. 1992;152:1881-1884)