Streptococcus pyogenes or Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is a re-emerging pathogen of significant public health importance. We present trends in GAS blood cultures over a 10 year period in Pakistan and characteristics of hospitalized patients with GAS sepsis over three years at a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. Blood cultures positive for GAS from 2004 -2014 were recorded at the clinical microbiology laboratory of the Aga Khan University and studied for trends in positivity rates. Medical records of patients hospitalized at the Aga Khan University hospital from 2012-2014 were also examined for clinical features and outcomes. GAS trends show a steady rate of blood culture positivity over 11 years, with higher rates in those >50 years, and seasonality favouring winter months. Case fatality rate in the hospitalized cohort was 34.1% (n= 14; of 41 patients). Malignancy predominated as the underlying predisposing factor among the 15-49 age group. Presence of sepsis was an independent predictor of mortality in GAS bacteremia. Studies of GAS trends in developing regions are important to inform changing epidemiology. GAS septic shock continues to have high case fatality despite antibiotic treatment. Early recognition, aggressive, goal-directed therapy for sepsis and prevention are possible control measures to prevent high mortality.
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|Published - 2017