A prolonged nursery epidemic associated with a newly recognized type of group A streptococcus

John D. Nelson, Hugh C. Dillon, Jorge B. Howard

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During a six-month period 69 infants in a newborn nursery were colonized with group A streptococci. Fifty-one had omphalitis, two infected circumcision wounds, and one each had meningitis, primary peritonitis, and conjunctivitis. Thirteen infants were asymptomatically colonized. Control of the epidemic was difficult. Benzathine penicillin prophylaxis to all infants suppressed active infection but did not eradicate asymptomatic colonization of the umbilical cord. Triple dye treatment of the umbilical cord plus benzathine penicillin prophylaxis eradicated the infection from the nursery. The epidemic streptococcus was a newly recognized "skin strain", provisional type strain 5656-S, not previously known to cause epidemic disease or serious systemic infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)792-796
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1976


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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