The Prevalence of Group A Beta
Haemolytic Streptococcal Carriers Among
School Children in Coimbatore, South India
Dr. M. Dheepa, M.D. (Microbiology),
Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology,
PSG Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Centre,
Peelamedu, Coimbatore- 641004, Tamil Nadu, India.
Background and Objectives:
Infections which are caused by the group A Streptococcus continue to be an important problem in India and other developing countries, therefore, a continued surveillance is imperative to monitor the epidemiological trends. The asymptomatic pharyngeal carriage of the Group A Streptococci (GAS) in children may lead to the spread of respiratory infections in the community. The data on the healthy GAS carriers in the community are therefore important. We carried out this pilot study to screen the school children in Coimbatore city, south India to detect the pharyngeal carriage of GAS.
Throat swabs were collected from a total of 255 children who were aged 8â€“11 years, from 2 schools in Coimbatore. The isolates of the beta haemolytic streptococci were serogrouped by agglutination tests, by using specific antisera.
Beta haemolytic streptococci were isolated from 27 samples out of the 255 asymptomatic children. The percentage of asymptomatic GAS carriers were 5.09 in our study.
The carriage rate of the beta haemolytic streptococci which are seen in children poses a threat to the community and it should be checked. Carrier rates which ranged from 2.3% to 34 % were reported from different parts of our country. A regular screening needs to be done to control the development of nonsuppurative sequelae such as acute rheumatic fever and post streptococcal glomerulonephritis, which are debilitating and difficult to treat.