DOI: 10.3390/children10091472 ISSN:

State of the Art of Invasive Group A Streptococcus Infection in Children: A Scoping Review of the Literature with a Focus on Predictors of Invasive Infection

Francesco Mariani, Carolina Gentili, Valentina Pulcinelli, Laura Martino, Piero Valentini, Danilo Buonsenso
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

Currently, it remains unclear why some children develop invasive group A Streptococcus (iGAS) and how to manage this condition. Therefore, to explore available works in the literature, we performed a scoping review aiming to analyze the current literature on clinical presentation of different illnesses outcomes of iGAS, with a specific focus on predictors of invasive infection, including an assessment of the prodromal stages of the disease and the possible presence of previous non-invasive GAS infections in children that later developed iGAS. Methods: We conducted a systematic search on PubMed and SCOPUS of all pediatric studies reporting iGAS cases, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) checklist. For those studies in which multivariable analysis investigating iGAS risk factors was performed, a second review was performed and reported in detail. Results: A total of 209 studies were included. Five studies investigated risk factors for iGAS, the most relevant being varicella infection, chronic underlying illness, presence of the speC gene in GAS strains, acetaminophen and ibuprofen use, children nonwhite, living in low-income households, exposure to varicella at home, persistent high fever, having more than one other child in the home, and new use of NSAIDs. Although we observed a progressive increase in the number of papers published on this topic, no trials investigating the benefits of clindamycin or intravenous immunoglobulins were found and low-to-middle-income countries were found to be poorly represented in the current literature. Conclusions: Our scoping review highlights important gaps regarding several aspects of iGAS in children, including prodromic presentation and optimal treatment strategies. There is also little representation of low–middle-income countries. The current literature does not allow the performance of systematic reviews or meta-analyses, but this work should inform healthcare professionals, policy makers, and funding agencies on which studies to prioritize on this topic.

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