Group A Streptococcal Serotypes Isolated from Healthy Schoolchildren In Iran
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Serotypes of group A streptococci are still a major cause of pharyngitis and some post-infectious sequelae such as rheumatic fever. As part of the worldwide effort to clarify the epidemiological pattern of group A streptococci in different countries, the present study was conducted to assess the prevalence of Streptococcus pyogenes serotypes in Iran. A total of 1588 throat swabs were taken from healthy school children in the city of Gorgan during February and March 1999. Of those isolates, 175 resulted positive for group A streptococci. The distribution pattern was similar for girls and boys, with 10.8% and 11.2%, respectively. Urban school children showed a higher rate of colonization compared to those in rural areas. Serotyping was performed on 65 of the positive isolates using standard techniques, and only 21 (32%) were M-type isolates. Their profiles fell into four types with M1 predominating, which could reflect the presence of rheumatic fever in the region. However, when isolates were challenged for T-antigen types, nearly all were positive (94%). The pattern of T types was diverse (18 types), with the most common T types being T1 (26%), TB3264 (15%), TB\1-19 & B\25\1-19 (9.2%) and T2 & 2\28 (7.7%). When isolates were tested for opacity factor, only 23 (35%) were positive while 34 (52%) responded to the serum opacity reaction test. Although the number of isolates in this study was not sufficient to make any epidemiological conclusions, the scarcity of serotyping studies in Iran could render these data useful for future attempts to develop a streptococcal vaccine.
KeywordsUnited Arab Emirate Rheumatic Fever Necrotizing Fasciitis Rural School Throat Swab
This work was supported by funding from the research department of the Gorgan University of Medical Sciences (GUMS). We would like to thank the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Streptococci, Minneapolis, USA, for serotyping the GAS strains. This project could not have been achieved without the assistance of the GUMS medical students.
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