Guidelines for prevention and control of group A streptococcal infection in acute healthcare and maternity settings in the UK

Jane A. Steer, Theresa Lamagni, Brendan Healy, Marina Morgan, Matthew Dryden, Bhargavi Rao, Shiranee Sriskandan, Robert George, Androulla Efstratiou, Fiona Baker, Alex Baker, Doreen Marsden, Elizabeth Murphy, Carole Fry, Neil Irvine, Rhona Hughes, Paul Wade, Rebecca Cordery, Amelia Cummins, Isabel OliverMervi Jokinen, Jim McMenamin, Joe Kearney*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Hospital outbreaks of group A streptococcal (GAS) infection can be devastating and occasionally result in the death of previously well patients. Approximately one in ten cases of severe GAS infection is healthcare-associated. This guidance, produced by a multidisciplinary working group, provides an evidence-based systematic approach to the investigation of single cases or outbreaks of healthcare-associated GAS infection in acute care or maternity settings. The guideline recommends that all cases of GAS infection potentially acquired in hospital or through contact with healthcare or maternity services should be investigated. Healthcare workers, the environment, and other patients are possible sources of transmission. Screening of epidemiologically linked healthcare workers should be considered for healthcare-associated cases of GAS infection where no alternative source is readily identified. Communal facilities, such as baths, bidets and showers, should be cleaned and decontaminated between all patients especially on delivery suites, post-natal wards and other high risk areas. Continuous surveillance is required to identify outbreaks which arise over long periods of time. GAS isolates from in-patients, peri-partum patients, neonates, and post-operative wounds should be saved for six months to facilitate outbreak investigation. These guidelines do not cover diagnosis and treatment of GAS infection which should be discussed with an infection specialist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Infection
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • Disease outbreaks
  • Great Britain
  • Group A streptococcus
  • Infection control
  • Midwifery


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