July 1989

Non-Group A Streptococci in the PharynxPathogens or Innocent Bystanders?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Children's Medical Center, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, (Drs Hayden and Hendley); and the Department of Pediatrics, US Air Force Medical Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio (Dr Murphy).

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(7):794-797. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150190044018

• Objective:  To determine whether β-hemolytic streptococci from groups other than A are an important cause of sporadic pharyngitis in children.

Design:  Cross-sectional, case-referent survey.

Setting:  General pediatric clinic at a military base in Ohio.

Participants:  One hundred fifty children with symptomatic pharyngitis and 150 controls matched for age and time of presentation over a 20-month study period.

Interventions:  None.

Measurements/Main Results:  Anaerobic culture technique was used to improve isolation of β-hemolytic streptococci. Group A β-hemolytic streptococci were detected significantly more often among the ill children than among the controls (39% vs 16%, respectively). In contrast, non–group A β-hemolytic streptococci were isolated in similar frequency from the ill and control children (17% vs 21%, respectively). Non–group A β-hemolytic streptococci from groups B, C, F, and G were each isolated in similar frequency among the ill and control children. The isolation rate of non–group A organisms increased with age among both patients and controls.

Conclusions:  Non–group A β-hemolytic streptococci seemed not to be an important cause of sporadic pharyngitis in this pediatric population.(AJDC. 1989;143:794-797)