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Surveillance Open Access
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Abstract

Background

Invasive infections with beta-haemolytic streptococci of Lancefield groups A (iGAS), B (iGBS) and C/G (iGCGS) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.

Aim

We studied incidence trends of invasive beta-haemolytic streptococcal infections in Finland, focusing on iGCGS.

Methods

We conducted a retrospective register-based study. Cases were defined as isolations from blood and/or cerebrospinal fluid and retrieved from the National Infectious Disease Register where all invasive cases are mandatorily notified.

Results

Between 2006 and 2020, the mean annual incidence was 4.1 per 100,000 for iGAS (range: 2.1–6.7), 5.2 for iGBS (4.0–6.3) and 10.1 for iGCGS (5.4–17.6). The incidence displayed an increasing trend for all groups, albeit for iGBS only for individuals 45 years and older. The increase was particularly sharp for iGCGS (8% annual relative increase). The incidence rate was higher in males for iGCGS (adjusted incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 1.6; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.5–1.8) and iGAS (adjusted IRR = 1.3; 95% CI: 1.1–1.4); for iGBS, the association with sex was age-dependent. In adults, iGCGS incidence increased significantly with age. Recurrency was seen for iGCGS and secondarily iGBS, but not for iGAS. Infections with iGCGS and iGBS peaked in July and August.

Conclusions

The incidence of invasive beta-haemolytic streptococcal infections in Finland has been rising since 2006, especially for iGCGS and among the elderly population. However, national surveillance still focuses on iGAS and iGBS, and European Union-wide surveillance is lacking. We recommend that surveillance of iGCGS be enhanced, including systematic collection and typing of isolates, to guide infection prevention strategies.

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2023-08-03
2024-07-15
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2023.28.31.2200807
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