Erysipelas: clinical and bacteriologic spectrum and serological aspects

B Eriksson, C Jorup-Rönström, K Karkkonen, A C Sjöblom, S E Holm
Clinical Infectious Diseases 1996, 23 (5): 1091-8
The bacteriologic, serological, and clinical characteristics of 229 patients with erysipelas diagnosed during a 2-year period at a university hospital for infectious diseases in Sweden are presented. Beta-Hemolytic streptococci were detected in 34% of these patients. Group A was the dominant serogroup, but group G streptococci were found in about half as many cases. Bacteremia was present in 5%. A serological response with antistreptolysin O (ASO) and antideoxyribonuclease B (ADNase B) was seen primarily in patients harboring group A streptococci but also in those from whom no pathogen was isolated. ASO was also found in high titers in some patients with Group G streptococcal infection. The clinical course was usually benign, with few complications, but recurrences were common (occurring in 21% of the patients). No cases of streptococcal toxic shock were seen. Culture of skin biopsy specimens had low sensitivity; Beta-hemolytic were isolated from only two of 15 patients.

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