Hospital outbreaks of Group A Streptococcal (GAS) infection can be devastating and can result in the death of previously well patients.

Research carried out by the CIPM team analysing bacterial genotypic and genome data from a serious maternity unit outbreak led to the adoption of new strategies to refine typing in outbreak settings. The data provided key evidence demonstrating how fast the outbreak spread, and how it was possible to quickly curtail it.

Following our findings, the HPA issued new national guidelines. These provide evidence-based and expert opinion-based advice on how to minimise the risk of spread of GAS infections in hospitals and maternity settings such as midwife-led units. The guidelines were underpinned by the fundamental research performed by CIPM and are a powerful illustration of how bench research can make its way from the laboratory to influence practice at the bedside at a national level. This has now been taken forwards in the investigation of emerging GAS infection with the HPA, funded by NIHR.

"The added value that the Centre for Infection Prevention and Management brings has been highlighted in many ways; a key contribution was the development within the HPA of theguidelines for the prevention and control of Group A Streptococcal infection in acute healthcare and maternity settings in the UK as part of the multidisciplinary working group of experts. It is the framework for collaboration which the Centre pro-vides and the staff resources and expertise it offers, which enables us to work in close partnership with them. Another key example is the NIHR programme with the HPA on the molecular anatomy of invasive group A streptococci that caused considerable mortality within the UK. The pathogenesis and molecular expertise from the Centre has been pivotal to this three year research programme" - Dr Androulla Efstratiou