Streptococcus pyogenes cluster in a care home in England April to June 2010
Two fatal cases of Streptococcus pyogenes emm st22.6 bacteraemia occurred in a care home in England during April and June 2010, initiating a cluster investigation. The first case had left the home 13 days before the second case took up residence. We sought further cases and carriers. We swabbed throat and chronic skin lesions from residents and staff and examined these specimens for the presence of S. pyogenes. 61 specimens were taken from 18 of 19 residents and 39 of 39 staff. All results from swabbing were culture negative. We observed infection control practices and the environment at the care home for deficiencies. Issues were identified relating to the correct use of personal protective equipment, hand hygiene, clinical waste and laundry. Infection control practices were improved and training given. Infection control practices and the environment at a care home should be examined as part of the investigation of a S. pyogenes cluster. Screening for carriage of S. pyogenes should be done before antibiotic chemoprophylaxis is issued to care home residents and staff.