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June 10, 2008 - 7:30am
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Streptococcus is a bacterium that causes a number of diseases, including food poisoning. It is categorized in Groups A, B, C, D, F, and G. Groups A and D can be transmitted to humans via food. Group A includes S. pyogenes and causes septic sore throat and scarlet fever as well as other pyogenic and septicemic infections. Group D includes S. faecalis , S. faecium , S. durans , S. avium , and S. bovis and may produce a clinical syndrome similar to staphylococcal intoxication.

What are the symptoms of Group A and Group D streptococcus infections?

Group A symptoms occur in 1-3 days and include:

  • Sore and red throat, with pain on swallowing,
  • Tonsilitis
  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Malaise
  • Rhinorrhea
  • Rash (occasionally)

Group D symptoms occur in 2-36 hours and include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Dizziness

How are streptococcus Group A and Group D diagnosed?

Group A is diagnosed through a lab culture of nasal and throat swabs, pus, sputum, blood, suspect food, environmental samples. Group D is diagnosed through a lab culture of stool samples, blood, and suspect food.

What foods are associated with Group A and Group D infections?

Group A: Food sources include milk, ice cream, eggs, steamed lobster, ground ham, potato salad, egg salad, custard, rice pudding, and shrimp salad. In almost all cases, the foodstuffs were allowed to stand at room temperature for several hours between preparation and consumption. Entrance into the food is the result of poor hygiene, ill food handlers, or the use of unpasteurized milk.

Group D: Food sources include sausage, evaporated milk, cheese, meat croquettes, meat pie, pudding, raw milk, and pasteurized milk. Entrance into the food chain is due to underprocessing and/or poor and unsanitary food preparation.

How frequently do Group A and Group D infections occur?

Group A infections are low and may occur in any season, whereas Group D infections are variable.

How serious are Group A and Group D infections?

Group A: Streptococcal sore throat is very common, especially in children. Usually it is successfully treated with antibiotics. Complications are rare and the fatality rate is low. Group D: Diarrheal illness is poorly characterized, but is acute and self-limiting.

Who is susceptible to Group A and Group D infections?

All individuals are susceptible. No age or race susceptibilities have been found.



Food and Drug Administration

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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