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August 17, 1970

Postoperative Streptococcal Wound InfectionThe Anatomy of an Epidemic

Author Affiliations

From the departments of surgery and pathology, Newton (Mass)-Wellesley Hospital (Drs. Gryska and O'Dea), the Tufts University School of Medicine (Dr. Gryska), and the Harvard Medical School (Dr. O'Dea).

JAMA. 1970;213(7):1189-1191. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170330069015

In a one-month period in 1969,13 postoperative wound infections due to group A β-hemolytic streptococci were discovered. The epidemic was controlled after discovery and treatment of the proven carrier, an anesthesiologist. The source of the carrier organism was the anal verge. His organism, that of eight of the patients, and a group A β-hemolytic streptococcus recovered on a fallout plate in an operating room (with the carrier in attendance) were identical as to bacteriogenic agglutination type.