Invasive group A streptococcal infections in the Netherlands

Natalie V.S. Vinkeles Melchers, Femke Nawijn, Lidewij W. Rümke, Laura M.L. Dix, Stefan M.T. Vestjens, Falco Hietbrink, Raïssa Tjon-Kon-Fat, Ellen Verspui-van der Eijk, Brechje de Gier, Bart J.M. Vlaminckx, Caner Içli, Marjolijn S.W. Quaak, Elisabeth Inge G.W. Huijskens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Group A streptococcal (GAS) infections are caused by the Gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes. Infection can occur via droplet infection from the throat and via (in)direct contact with infected people. GAS can cause a wide variety of diseases, ranging from superficial skin infections, pharyngitis and scarlet fever, to serious invasive diseases such as puerperal sepsis, pneumonia, necrotising soft tissue infections (NSTI) (also known as necrotising fasciitis/myositis), meningitis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS). In invasive GAS infections, the bacteria has penetrated into a sterile body compartment (such as the bloodstream, deep tissues, or the central nervous system). Invasive GAS infections are rare but serious, with high morbidity and mortality. Since March 2022, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) reported a national increase in notifiable invasive GAS infections (NSTI, STSS and puerperal fever). Particularly NSTI has increased compared to the years before the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Remarkably, the proportion of children aged 0 to 5 years with invasive GAS-infections is higher in 2022 than in the previous years (12% compared to 4%). While seasonal peaks occur, the current elevation exceeds this variation. To promote early recognition and diagnosis of invasive GAS infections different clinical cases are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberD7118
JournalNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2023

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