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Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus Infections Associated with Guinea Pigs - Volume 21, Number 1—January 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC

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Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus Infections Associated with Guinea Pigs - Volume 21, Number 1—January 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC


Volume 21, Number 1—January 2015


Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus Infections Associated with Guinea Pigs

Karen GruszynskiComments to Author , Andrea Young, Seth J. Levine, Joseph P. Garvin, Susan Brown, Lauren Turner, Angela Fritzinger, Robert E. Gertz, Julia M. Murphy, Marshall Vogt, and Bernard Beall
Author affiliations: Virginia Department of Health, Richmond, Virginia, USA (K. Gruszynski, S.J. Levine, J.M. Murphy)Virginia Department of Health, Manassas, VA (A. Young)Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Richmond (J.P. Garvin, S. Brown)Department of General Services, Richmond (L. Turner, A. Fritzinger)Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA (R.E. Gertz, Jr., B. Beall)Virginia Department of Health, Chesterfield, VA (M. Vogt)Chippenham Johnston-Willis Medical Center, Richmond (M. Vogt)


Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus is a known zoonotic pathogen. In this public health investigation conducted in Virginia, USA, in 2013, we identified a probable family cluster of Szooepidemicus cases linked epidemiologically and genetically to infected guinea pigs. Szooepidemicus infections should be considered in patients who have severe clinical illness and report guinea pig exposure.
Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus is a facultative pathogen affecting animals and humans. Infections have occurred in horses, pigs, ruminants, guinea pigs, monkeys, cats, and dogs (1,2). Zoonotic transmission of S.zooepidemicus is rare and is usually associated with drinking unpasteurized milk or through contact with horses by persons who usually have underlying health conditions (13). Few if any human case-patients with S.zooepidemicus infection have documented guinea pig exposure even though Szooepidemicus infections have been described in guinea pigs since 1907 (4). This case report describes 1 probable and 1 confirmed human case of severe Szooepidemicus infection and the laboratory methods used to link human and guinea pig isolates.
Dr. Gruszynski is the veterinary epidemiologist at the Virginia Department of Health, Richmond. She works on issues related to zoonotic diseases.


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Suggested citation for this article: Gruszynski K, Young A, Levine SJ, Garvin JP, Brown S, Turner L, et al. Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicusinfections associated with guinea pigs. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Jan [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2101.140640
DOI: 10.3201/eid2101.140640

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