Strep Throat Causes
Group A streptococcus, a type of bacteria, is the cause of strep throat. This type of bacteria is commonly found in the throat and on the skin of healthy people. Although many people may carry these bacteria and show no symptoms of illness, group A streptococcus can cause severe and even life-threatening illnesses, such as bacteremia, pneumonia, and necrotizing fasciitis.
What Causes Strep Throat?Strep throat is a throat infection caused by group A streptococcus bacteria (GAS for short). The scientific name for these bacteria is Streptococcus pyogenes.
Group A Streptococcus and Strep ThroatGroup A streptococcus are gram-positive bacteria often found in the throat and on the skin of healthy people. People may carry these bacteria and have no symptoms of illness. Or, if the bacteria do cause an infection, it often results in relatively mild illnesses such as strep throat, impetigo, scarlet fever, or cellulitis, to name a few.
Occasionally, group A streptococcus can cause severe and even life-threatening illnesses. This happens when bacteria get into parts of the body where bacteria are not usually found. This can include places such as the blood (bacteremia), lungs (pneumonia), or the fat layer under the skin (necrotizing fasciitis). These infections are sometimes called invasive GAS infections. However, it is rare for people with strep throat to develop invasive GAS infections.