Five-year group A streptococcal pharyngitis serotype surveillance in North America, 2000-2005

Robert R. Tanz*, Stanford T. Shulman, William Kabat, Kathleen Kabat, Emily Cederlund, Devendra Patel, Zhongya Li, Varja Sakota, James B. Dale, Bernard Beall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The geographic and year-year heterogeneity of group A streptococcal (GAS) genotypes (emm types) of isolates causing acute pediatric pharyngitis in North America have been poorly characterized. We established a network of 10 U.S. and 3 Canadian sites to collect isolates from children 3-18 years old with acute streptococcal pharyngitis. Collection began in 2000-2001, and the fifth year of collection was completed in May 2005. Multiple GAS types circulated simultaneously within each study site. Each year the 3 most prevalent emm types in the U.S. or Canada comprised 42-49% of all isolates nationally. The 6 most prevalent types each year consistently comprised 70-77% of isolates. Analysis of data from individual sites demonstrated considerable (in some instances striking) geographic variability as well as year-year variability. Differences were identified between the distribution of emm types from U.S. and Canadian sites. Continued pharyngeal emm type surveillance will be needed as multivalent M protein vaccine development proceeds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-33
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Congress Series
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Group A streptococcus
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Surveillance
  • emm type

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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