• Vol. 31 No. 1, 86–91
  • 15 January 2002

Epidemiology of Beta-haemolytic Group G Streptococcal Bacteraemia in Singapore (1996 to 1998)



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Introduction: Group G streptococcus (GGS) accounted for 8% to 44% of all bacteraemias due to beta-haemolytic streptococci according to various reports. The aims of this study were 1) to describe the epidemiology of GGS bacteraemia in Singapore for which local data are lacking and 2) to compare its frequency of isolation to the other Lancefield groups.

Patients and Methods: The study period was from 1 January 1996 to 30 June 1998. The laboratory records of 2 large acute care hospitals were examined. There was a total of 85 patients. The medical records of 52 patients were available for analysis. In addition, laboratory microbiological data from 1993 to 1999 were reviewed and the number of blood cultures that were positive for beta-haemolytic streptococci groups A, B, C and G was collated.

Results: The majority involved the elderly. The mean age was 67 years. The skin was the major portal of entry. Local conditions predisposing the skin to infection occurred in 40.4%. Co-morbidity included malignancies in 28.8% of patients, diabetes mellitus in 11.5% and liver disease in 9.6%. Mortality was 15.4% including fatal septic shock. Recurrent bacteraemia occurred in 5.8% of the patients. The majority (90.4%) were community-acquired infections. GGS, along with group B streptococcus (GBS), was the most common streptococcus among the beta-haemolytic streptococci causing bacteraemia in these 2 hospitals.

Human isolates of group G streptococci (GGS) that form large colonies are similar to group A streptococci (GAS) in terms of virulence and cause a range of serious infections. These included infective endocarditis which had been emphasised in older reports1 but was found to be uncommon in later studies.

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