Necrotizing Fasciitis

Rick Hershberger rphershb at facstaff.wisc.edu
Tue Jun 14 09:22:42 EST 1994


In article <199406131827.OAA17807 at hobbes>, ogston at HOBBES.KZOO.EDU (Walter
Ogston) wrote:

> It looks like nobody has posted an answer to Rachel Parmer's enqiry about the 
> bug going round that causes gangrene.  This is apparently Necrotizing Fasciitis
> which my med micro book (Baron) says is caused by several types of bacteria, 
> including Streptococcus pyogenes.

> If there is a virus involved it would have to be a temperate phage carrying 
> a virulence factor.  This would be interesting.  Has anyone seen a report of
> phage in these bacteria isolates? 
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Walter Ogston				ogston at hobbes.kzoo.edu
> Department of Biology			Phone: (616)337-7010
> Kalamazoo College			Fax:   (616)337-7251
> Kalamazoo, MI 49006-3295

Yes, a virus is involved. Some of the more sensational news reports
mentioned that it was a virus causing the problem, when in fact the
causative agent, Strep A, is a bacterial strain that contains a virus. What
I've read said that the phage causes bacterial production of a potent toxin
to which the body reacts very dramatically. This immune over-reaction is in
fact what destroys the skin or muscle tissue, producing the disease
symptoms.

All this according to the New York Times.
-- 
 _  _  |_  RICK HERSHBERGER, PH.D. * Postdoctoral Fellow
|  |_| | | Institute for Molecular Virology * UW-Madison
   |       rphershb at facstaff.wisc.edu



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