Symptoms and Signs of Group A Strep (GAS) Infection

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Group A Strep (GAS) Infection

Group A strep (GAS), also called Streptococcus pyogenes or group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus, is a gram-positive coccus (spherical bacteria) that is abundant, highly contagious, and spread primarily through person-to-person (skin-to-skin) contact and via respiratory droplets, as the human skin and mucous membranes are the only known reservoir for GAS. Upper respiratory tract (pharyngitis) infections and skin infections (cellulitis) with GAS are among the most common bacterial infections.

Symptoms of group A strep (GAS) infection include tonsillopharyngitis include sore throat, fever, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, enlarged tonsils, rash, pus collections on the tonsils, tiny red spots on the palate, headache, abdominal pain. Symptoms of group A strep (GAS) infection can include skin diseases such as impetigo, erysipelas, and necrotizing fasciitis. The main symptom of GAS impetigo is a blistering or infected lesion, the destruction or irritation of which results in the development of a coating described as honey crusting. Symptoms of erysipelas include skin redness, hardening, tenderness, a raised, sharply demarcated border, and a consistency often compared to that of an orange peel. Symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis include marked tissue destruction in the deep fascial layers of the skin, fever and severe pain.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.