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Distribution of emm types and subtypes among noninvasive group A, C and G streptococcal isolates in western Norway

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Kittang BR, Langeland N, Mylvaganam H. Distribution of emm types and subtypes among noninvasive group A, C and G streptococcal isolates in western Norway. APMIS 2008;116:457–64.

Characterization of the reservoir of beta-hemolytic streptococci in a community may shed light on the pathogenesis of severe infections caused by these bacteria. We used emm sequence typing to characterize group A streptococci (GAS), group C streptococci (GCS) and group G streptococci (GGS) in community isolates associated with noninvasive disease in western Norway. A total of 165 isolates during a 13-month period were examined. Skin and throat isolates accounted for 123 and 16, respectively, and the remaining 26 isolates were from other non-sterile sites. We identified 18 previously validated emm types and one novel subtype, emm11.7, among the 101 GAS isolates. The two predominant types, emm28 and 12, were found in 40.6% of the GAS isolates. Compared to other recent studies of noninvasive GAS infections from elsewhere in the world, we found a higher frequency of emm82 (5.9%) and emm87 (12.9%) and a lower frequency of emm1 (4.0%) and emm3 (4.0%). We found a different distribution of GAS emm types compared to a previous study from western Norway. Among the 64 isolates of GCS and GGS, 15 previously described emm types and four novel subtypes, stC1400.5, stCK401.3, stG6.3 and stG652.3, were found. stG6, stG643 and stG485 were the most prevalent types and accounted for 59.4% of the GCS and GGS isolates. The high proportion of skin isolates in the present study may indicate the existence of GAS, GCS and GGS strains with predominantly skin and soft tissue tropism in our community.
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Keywords: GAS; GCS; GGS; emm type; noninvasive isolates

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway

Publication date: 2008-06-01

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