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Streptococcal disease

Streptococcal disease is caused by bacteria from the streptococcus ('strep') group of bacteria.

It's a common infection which typically causes minor problems that are treated with antibiotics. Examples of these include infections of the:

  • throat, including tonsilitis
  • skin, including impetigo (a skin infection most common in children, typically with red sores and a yellow crust) and cellulitis (typically red, hot, swollen skin)
  • ear, often causing earache, fever, and hearing loss
  • sinuses (facial cavities).

Streptococcus can also cause scarlet fever, a childhood illness that causes a distinctive pink-red rash.

It is rare for streptococcus to invade the body more deeply. However, when it does, streptococcus can cause:

  • pneumonia
  • sepsis (a serious infection of the blood)
  • meningitis
  • toxic shock syndrome (toxins released into the blood causing fever, nausea and vomiting)
  • a serious infection of the deeper layers of the skin causing severe pain and swelling.

Follow the links below to find trusted information about streptococcal disease.

Last reviewed: April 2017

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Antistreptolysin O Titre - Lab Tests Online AU

To help determine whether a person has had a recent Group A streptococcal infection; to help diagnose post-streptococcalsequelaeofrheumatic feverand glomerulonephritis

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Strep throat testing - Lab Tests Online AU

The test identifies Streptococcus pyogenes, known as Group A streptococcus, which are bacteria that infect the back of the throat and cause the common infection called strep throat.

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Pneumococcal disease

Pneumococcal disease Streptococcus pneumoniae infections in people with diabetes are associated with increased mortality and morbidity

Read more on Diabetes Australia website

Pneumococcal disease

Pneumococcal infections are caused by the streptococcus pneumoniae bacterium and is the leading cause of serious illness and death in children under 2 and adults over 85 in Australia.

Read more on WA Health website

Group B streptococcus and pregnancy - myDr.com.au

Group B streptococcus (group B strep) is a common bacterium that is found in the body. It is usually harmless in adults. Sometimes, however, a woman who has group B strep can infect her baby during delivery.

Read more on myDr website

Pregnancy - Pregnancy Topics - Group B Streptococcus

About 15% of women have a type of bacteria called Group B Streptococcus, or GBS, as part of these normal vaginal bacteria.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Scarlet fever

Scarlet fever is a bacterial illness. Symptoms include sore throat, swollen glands, fever and rash. See your GP if your child has scarlet fever symptoms.

Read more on Raising Children Network website

Maternal sepsis (Puerperal fever) due to Group A Streptococcus Infor

Maternal sepsis (Puerperal fever) due to Group A Streptococcus Information for clinicians Factsheet

Read more on NSW Health website

Meningitis in children - myDr.com.au

Meningitis means inflammation of the meninges - the lining around the brain and spinal cord. It is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection.

Read more on myDr website

Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE)

Information about the management of people identified with an antibiotic resistant bacterium known as vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE).

Read more on WA Health website

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