Image: Scanning electron micrograph of Group A Streptococcus bacteria on primary human neutrophil.
Original Published Date: 
Wednesday, November 4, 2015

An international study lead by researchers from The University of Queensland, and supported by ARC funding, have tracked the re-emergence of a childhood disease which had largely disappeared over the past 100 years. Genome sequencing techniques have been used to investigate a rise in the incidence of scarlet fever-causing bacteria and an increase in resistance to antibiotics. Scarlet fever, which mainly affects children under 10, is spread by Group A Streptococcus (strep throat bacteria) known as GAS. Symptoms include a red rash on the skin, sore throat, fever, headache and nausea. Serious illness can be treated with antibiotics. Molecular Biosciences researcher Dr Nouri Ben Zakour said the research results were “deeply concerning”. “We now have a situation which may change the nature of the disease and make it resistant to broad-spectrum treatments normally prescribed for respiratory tract infections, such as in scarlet fever.”

Media issued by The University of Queensland.

Photo credit: 

Image credit: NIAID.