The family pet as an unlikely source of group a beta-hemolytic streptococcal infection in humans

K. S. Wilson, S. A. Maroney, R. M. Gander

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34 Scopus citations


This study examines the possibility of the family pet serving as a reservoir for group A betahemolytic streptococcal infections in humans. We obtained oropharyngeal cultures from children with acute pharyngitis and concurrent oropharyngeal cultures from their household pets. Children with culture-proved group A betahemolytic streptococcal pharyngitis were detected in 26 of 42 households surveyed. Oropharyngeal cultures were also collected from a group of children without pharyngitis and their pets. Additionally 149 dogs and cats from a local veterinary hopsital were cultured from 371 body sites including the oropharynx, axilla and vagina. All beta-hemolytic bacterial isolates were identified by colonial and microscopic morphology, catalase and pyrrolidonylarylamidase production, bacitracin susceptibility and serogrouping. No group A beta-hemolytic streptococci were recovered from any of the body sites surveyed from a total of 230 animals. Based on these findings, the family pet seems to be an unlikely reservoir for group A beta-hemolytic streptococci.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-375
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1995


  • Family pet
  • Group a streptococci
  • Human streptococcal infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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