2022

Standardisation of Epidemiological Surveillance of Invasive Group A Streptococcal Infections

Open Forum Infectious Diseases
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Abstract

Invasive group A streptococcal (Strep A) infections occur when Streptococcus pyogenes, also known as beta-hemolytic group A Streptococcus, invades a normally sterile site in the body. This article provides guidelines for establishing surveillance for invasive Strep A infections. The primary objective of invasive Strep A surveillance is to monitor trends in rates of infection and determine the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients with laboratory-confirmed invasive Strep A infection, the age- and sex-specific incidence in the population of a defined geographic area, trends in risk factors, and the mortality rates and rates of nonfatal sequelae caused by invasive Strep A infections.

This article includes clinical descriptions followed by case definitions, based on clinical and laboratory evidence, and case classifications (confirmed or probable, if applicable) for invasive Strep A infections and for 3 Strep A syndromes: streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, necrotizing fasciitis, and pregnancy-associated Strep A infection.

Considerations of the type of surveillance are also presented, noting that most people who have invasive Strep A infections will present to hospital and that invasive Strep A is a notifiable disease in some countries. Minimal surveillance necessary for invasive Strep A infection is facility-based, passive surveillance. A resource-intensive but more informative approach is active case finding of laboratory-confirmed Strep A invasive infections among a large (eg, state-wide) and well defined population.

Participant eligibility, surveillance population, and additional surveillance components such as the use of International Classification of Disease diagnosis codes, follow-up, period of surveillance, seasonality, and sample sise are discussed. Finally, the core data elements to be collected on case report forms are presented.

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