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Prosector’s Streptococcal Pharyngitis

Wallace, Mark R. MD*; Garavaglia, Jan C. MD; Kaplan, Edward L. MD

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: September 2012 - Volume 20 - Issue 5 - p 349–350
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0b013e318245d4a6
Case Reports

A forensic pathologist, wearing appropriate protective gear, developed streptococcal pharyngitis 3 days after performing an autopsy on a young woman who had died of necrotizing group A streptococcal soft tissue infection. The Streptococcus pyogenes isolates from the deceased and the pathologist proved to be an identical emm 89 strain. Transmission of pathogens from cadavers during medical procedures is rare. This case illustrates the underappreciated but real risk of health care workers acquiring invasive strains of S. pyogenes from patients, including the recently deceased.

From the *Infectious Disease, Orlando Health, Orlando, FL; †District 9 Medical Examiner’s Office, Orlando, FL; and ‡Dept. of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

Correspondence to: Mark R. Wallace, MD, 77 W Underwood St, Suite 4B, Orlando, FL 32806. E-mail:

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.