Journal of Hygiene

Research Article

Group G streptococci in healthy school-children and in patients with glomerulonephritis in Trinidad

H. F. M. Reida1, D. C. J. Bassetta2, T. Poon-Kinga3, J. B. Zabriskiea4 and S. E. Reada5

a1 Trinidad and Tobago Public Health Laboratory, Port of Spain, Trinidad

a2 PAHO/WHO Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC), Port of Spain, Trinidad

a3 General Hospital, San Fernando, Trinidad

a4 The Rockefeller University, New York, U.S.A.

a5 The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada


The group G streptococcus has generally not been considered a prominent pathogen. In a 1982 study of the colonization rate by β-haemoly tic streptococci in apparently healthy children, age 5–11 years, 25 of 69 isolates belonged to group G. This surprisingly high rate of group G colonization (14·3%) led to a retrospective study of school surveys in 1967 which showed that the colonization rate with this organism was 2·3% (range 1·3–3·5%). A review of bacitracin-sensitive streptococcal isolates from hospital admissions of patients with acute glomerulonephritis (AGN), rheumatic fever, and their siblings, between January 1967 and July 1980, was conducted. Of 1063 bacitracin-sensitive isolates, 63 were group G, and 52 of these were isolated from AGN patients and their siblings, i.e. 7 from skin lesions of AGN patients, 40 from the throats of siblings and only 5 from the skins of the siblings. The other 11 group G isolates were from rheumatic-fever patients and their siblings. Thus, the group G colonization rate fluctuates in the population. The isolation of only group G streptococci from skin lesions of patients with AGN suggests a possible association between group G streptococcal pyoderma and acute post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis.

(Received May 09 1984)

(Accepted July 02 1984)