Imperial College London

CMBI Team publish on new Strain of Strep A



A team of scientists including CMBI's Prof Shiranee Sriskandan and Dr Ho Kwong Li have discovered a new strain of group A streptococcus bacteria.

Group A streptococcus (or Strep A) is known to cause scarlet fever, throat infections and – in very rare cases – invasive disease, where the bacterium enters the bloodstream or tissue and can trigger sepsis and toxic shock. 

Professor Shiranee Sriskandan, senior author from the CMBI at Imperial said: “We’ve seen an unprecedented rise in the number of cases of scarlet fever since 2014 but it was only in 2016 there was a rise in the number of serious, invasive cases due to Strep A – which are thankfully very rare- coinciding with the seasonal rise in scarlet fever. Our research, done in collaboration with Public Health England, aimed to determine if there was a link between the increase in scarlet fever and the increase in invasive infections. In undertaking this research, we identified the new strain type, linked to increases in both.”

The full article can be read in the link opposite.


Nicola Tingley

Nicola Tingley
Department of Infectious Disease