Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is a leading human pathogen that causes a multitude of diseases from pharyngitis, and impetigo, to more severe outcomes such as rheumatoid arthritis and necrotizing fasciitis. GAS remains a global burden as currently no vaccine exists that is completely effective. In this review we highlight recent studies on the virulence of GAS and present several approaches that have extended those findings into aims at combating GAS disease. These and other studies such as recent genome-wide efforts into host-pathogen relationships of GAS disease will likely reveal new targets of intervention. Given the recent rise in GAS strains that have acquired resistance to several types of antibiotics, it is crucial that we continue to increase our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying GAS disease.
Keywords: Group A Streptococcus, antivirulence, vaccines, therapeutics, host-pathogen interaction, GAS, streptococcus pyogenes, M protein, HLA capsule, cytolysin
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