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Streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin A, streptolysin O, exoenzymes, serotype and biotype profiles of Streptococcus pyogenes isolates from patients with toxic shock syndrome and other severe infections.

The determination of protein M and T serotypes, biotypes and pyrogenic (erythrogenic) exotoxin A (SPE A), streptolysin O (SLO), streptokinase (SK), hyaluronidase (HA) and cysteine proteinase release by 212 S. pyogenes isolates from patients with severe invasive group A streptococcal (GAS) infections, among them 74 cases of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) has been investigated. M1 or M3 serotypes were expressed by 25% of the isolates (53/212), whereas 59% (125/212) belonged to 15 other different serotypes and 16% (34/212) were untypeable. Of the 74 isolates from STSS patients, 42% (31/74) expressed M1 and to a lesser extent M3 serotypes versus 19% of the non STSS isolates (26/138). Among the ten different biotypes known, biotypes 1 and 3 were prevalent, particularly the former in the case of STSS isolates. SPE A was detectably produced by about 25% (54/212) of the strains. However, as high as 40.5% of the STSS isolates (30/74) versus 17.4% of non STSS isolates (24/138) released SPE A. Moreover, 67% of the SPE A producing strains were of serotype M1 or M3. SK and HA were released by 71% and 10% of the isolates respectively. All strains released SLO (4 to 256 HU/ml) and 85% cysteine proteinase. No relationship between toxin or enzyme titer and the type of disease or clinical origin of the strains was found. Culture supernatants of all isolates showed moderate to high lymphocyte transforming activity with index values ranging from 14.5 to 50.3 including those strains which did not release detectable amounts of SPE A suggesting that SPE C and other mitogenic factor(s) are released by the isolates investigated.

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