Japan approaches one thousand cases of streptococcal toxic shock, an infection caused by “cannibal bacteria.”


The so-called “meat-eating bacteria” continues to raise alarm in Japan due to a steady increase in serious infections linked to this microbe. We are talking about streptococcal infections, more specifically the case of streptococcal toxic shock caused by this bacterium.

Cases are increasing. Cases of serious infections caused by Streptococcus A, which are caused by the species, continue to increase in Japan Streptococcus pyogenes. If in mid-March this figure was 378 cases, local press It is already at 977 This is the number of cases of toxic shock.

As we reach the halfway point of the year, 2024 is already the year in which the highest number of cases has been recorded since the disease was first observed in Japan. The previous record was last year 941 cases.

STSS Strep infections can be asymptomatic or cause a variety of illnesses. The most serious of these Streptococcal toxic shock (STSS). It is a disease that results in death in 30% of cases.

Despite this spike in cases and its severity, STSS is a rare disease. This shock occurs when the bacteria spread to the tissues and blood. Its first symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea and vomiting, which can later progress to more severe symptoms such as hypotension, tachycardia, trachypnea (rapid breathing) and organ failure.

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Streptococcus a. The bacteria that cause this disease, Streptococcus pyogeneso Streptococcus A can enter our body through several routes, the main ones being open wounds and mucous membranes. These bacteria can travel in small droplets in suspension like respiratory viruses.

Sometimes fatal, sometimes asymptomatic. And some infections That these bacterial causes are comparable to those caused by respiratory viruses. The Strep throat It is a more or less common phenomenon, more common in children than in adults.

Streptococcus infections can be asymptomatic and lead to a whole range of diseases, from emerytigo and scarlet fever to rheumatic fever, cellulitis and more or less severe diseases. Necrotizing fasciitis.

This last disease is the reason for the name “cannibal bacteria” given to Streptococcus. Because of this infection causes necrosisTissue death in the area where the infection has spread. S. Pyogen It is not the only bacteria that causes this disease, but it is one that often causes this reaction.

uncertain cause. The outbreak in Japan is most significant but increases in the incidence of these infections have occurred in other contexts. For example, in 2022 the UK recorded half a dozen deaths among children caused by this bacterium.

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Picture | National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases