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Scarlet Fever - Thermo Scientific Products for Growth and ID of Beta-haemolytic Streptococci
News of an outbreak of scarlet fever amongst young children in south west England (ref 1) has served as a timely reminder that we have not yet seen the last of this once-common disease. Fifty cases were recently confirmed in the county of Wiltshire, with clusters in two nurseries, reversing the downward trend in cases reported in previous years.
The erythrogenic toxin produced as a result of infection with beta-haemolytic streptococci (usually group A) is responsible for the distinctive 'scarlet' rash after which the condition is named. Whilst the rash and attendant symptoms of sore throat, fever and general malaise normally respond well to antibiotics, there is always the potential for more serious immune-mediated outcomes to develop if cases are left untreated.
These include rheumatic fever, glomerulonephritis, osteomyelitis, septicaemia and even death, underlining the importance of early diagnosis and therapy.
Thermo Scientific offers a wide range of products to aid in the culture, identification and grouping of beta-haemolytic streptococci. These include Blood Agar Base No. 2 (product code: CM0271) whose enhanced nutritional properties favour the cultivation of fastidious streptococci, and Columbia Blood Agar Base (product code: CM0331) with COBA Selective Medium which has been specially formulated for the selective isolation of Streptococcus species.
Streptococcal grouping kits are also available in wet (product codes: DR0585 and DR0575) and dry (product code:DR0400) latex agglutination formats enabling group A streptococci to be reliably differentiated on the basis of specific carbohydrate antigens.
Additionally, the Thermo Scientific Biochemical Identification System (O.B.I.S.) PYR system (product code ID0580) facilitates rapid determination of PYRase activity in group A streptococci.
For more information please contact Carlene Simmons, contact details are at the top of this page or visit the Thermo Scientific website.
Reference 1. CDR Weekly, 2 March 2006; 16(9): News
NOTE: This item is from our 'historic' database and may contain information which is not up to date.