sore throat, streptococcal

sore throat, streptococcal

(strĕp'təkŏk`əl), infection and inflammation of the pharynx caused by certain streptococcal bacteria. These organisms are known as hemolytic streptococci because they secrete toxins that dissolve, or cause hemolysis of, red blood cells. Acute streptococcal sore throat is usually characterized by an extremely painful throat, enlarged tonsils, and sometimes gastrointestinal disturbances. Scarlet feverscarlet fever
or scarlatina,
an acute, communicable infection, caused by group A hemolytic streptococcal bacteria (see streptococcus) that produce an erythrogenic toxin.
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, which is caused by the same streptococcal bacteria, occurs when the microorganisms produce a toxin that, in sensitive individuals, causes appearance of a characteristic rash. Complications of streptococcal infection, which include rheumatic feverrheumatic fever
, systemic inflammatory disease, extremely variable in its manifestation, severity, duration, and aftereffects. It is frequently followed by serious heart disease, especially when there are repeated attacks. Rheumatic fever usually affects children.
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 and sometimes arthritisarthritis,
painful inflammation of a joint or joints of the body, usually producing heat and redness. There are many kinds of arthritis. In its various forms, arthritis disables more people than any other chronic disorder.
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 and nephritisnephritis
, inflammation of the kidney. The earliest finding is within the renal capillaries (glomeruli); interstitial edema is typically followed by interstitial infiltration of lymphocytes, plasma cells, eosinophils, and a small number of polymorphonuclear leukocytes.
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, can be prevented by early, vigorous treatment with penicillinpenicillin,
any of a group of chemically similar substances obtained from molds of the genus Penicillium that were the first antibiotic agents to be used successfully in the treatment of bacterial infections in humans.
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 or other suitable antibiotics.