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A Retrospective Review of Streptococcal Infections in Pediatric Atopic Dermatitis

Authors


Address correspondence to Jeffrey L. Sugarman, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor in Dermatology and Family Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, or e-mail: pediderm@yahoo.com.

Abstract

Abstract:  In order to assess the clinical characteristics and impact of group A streptococcal infection in children with atopic dermatitis, a retrospective review was performed in children diagnosed with atopic dermatitis who had a skin culture. Culture results and clinical characteristics of those with group A streptococcus were compared with those with Staphlococcus aureus. Infection with group A streptococcus was present in 16%; infection with Staphlococcus aureus was present in 72%, and 14% had mixed cultures. Patients infected with group A streptococcus were more likely to be febrile, to have facial and periorbital involvement, and to be hospitalized compared with those infected with Staphlococcus aureus alone (p ≤ 0.01 for all comparisons). Bacteremia and cellulitis were significantly more common in those infected with group A streptococcus than in those infected with Staphlococcus aureus. Retrospective design and review of only those patients receiving bacterial cultures may select for greater severity than in the general atopic dermatitis population. Group A streptococcus appears to be a significant skin pathogen infecting children with atopic dermatitis. Children with atopic dermatitis and group A streptococcal infection are more likely to have invasive disease and complications than those infected with Staphlococcus aureus alone.

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