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Open Access Short Report

Group A streptococcal genotypes from throat and skin isolates in the United Arab Emirates

Mubarak S Alfaresi

Author Affiliations

Department of pathology & Laboratory medicine, Zayed Military Hospital, PO BOX 3740, Abudhabi, UAE

BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:94  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-94

Published: 6 April 2010



The bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes causes a variety of human diseases that range from relatively mild skin infections to severe invasive diseases, such as acute rheumatic fever, glomerulonephritis, puerperal sepsis, necrotizing fasciitis, meningitis, and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. Accurate identification and typing of group A hemolytic streptococci (GAS) is essential for epidemiological and pathogenetic studies of streptococcal diseases. For this reason, The genetic diversity of group A streptococcal (GAS) isolates from subjects in the United Arab Emirates with streptococcal disease was studied using emm gene sequence analysis. The emm typing system which is based on sequence analysis of PCR products of the N-terminal hypervariable region of the M protein gene, concurs with M serotyping almost 1:1.


A total of 38 GAS isolates were analyzed, including 35 isolates from throat and 3 from skin. Among the 38 isolates, a total of 25 different emm/st types were detected: 20 isolates (53%) belonged to 16 validated standard reference emm types and 18 isolates (47%) belonged to 9 recognized sequence types.


This is the first emm typing study in the United Arab Emirates to demonstrate the heterogeneity of the GAS population.