Community outbreak of perianal group A streptococcal infection in Denmark

Jesper Padkær Petersen, Margit S Kaltoft, Jens C Misfeldt, Helga Schumacher, Henrik C Schønheyder

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BACKGROUND: Perianal group A streptococcal infection (PASI) occurs primarily in children. There is limited information on the incidence, transmission and treatment of PASI. We report a cluster of cases connected to a Danish kindergarten and observations of the incidence of PASI in the local population.

SETTING: A Danish rural community with 1765 children 15 years and younger registered with two general practice clinics.

METHODS: After being alerted of a possible cluster of PASI cases, all isolates of group A beta-hemolytic streptococci were collected and subjected to T typing and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) if grown from either a rectal swab or an accompanying throat swab obtained in the offices of local general practitioners during the ensuing 4-month period. Clinical data were obtained from the files of the local general practitioners.

RESULTS: Twelve cases of PASI were caused by group A beta-hemolytic streptococci T type 28 with an identical PFGE profile: 6 of the cases were in children attending the same kindergarten, 4 were connected otherwise to the cluster and 2 cases seemed to be unrelated. Five cases of PASI with different T types and PFGE profiles were diagnosed during the same period giving an estimated annual incidence of 2 to 7 per 1000 children. Penicillin V was ineffective in 3 cases, and no recurrence was seen after change of the treatment to oral clarithromycin.

CONCLUSIONS: A clone of T type 28 seemed to be the cause of the largest cluster of PASI cases described thus far. Clarithromycin was effective as second line treatment. An estimated annual baseline incidence of 2 to 7 per 1000 in the local population indicates that PASI may not be as rare as previously estimated.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Pages (from-to)105-9
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Child
  • Child Day Care Centers
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Community-Acquired Infections
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Denmark
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Perineum
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Streptococcal Infections
  • Streptococcus pyogenes


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