Invasive Community-Onset Gram-Positive Infections From July 2018 Through December 2022 at 2 Children's Hospitals

Eric E. Engstrom, Alexander S. Plattner, J. Chase McNeil, Kristina G. Hulten, Patrick J. Reich, Mary G. Boyle, James J. Dunn, Stephanie A. Fritz, Sheldon L. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Invasive infections caused by Streptococcus pyogenes (invasive group A streptococcus [iGAS]) and Streptococcus pneumoniae (invasive pneumococcal disease [IPD]) decreased substantially at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our study sought to evaluate the extent of this decrease and the trends of these infections since reversion of societal adjustments incident to the pandemic. We also wanted to compare the frequency of these infections with invasive community-onset Staphylococcus aureus (I-CO-SA) infections and common respiratory viral infections in this period. Methods: Cases of iGAS, IPD, and I-CO-SA infections were identified prospectively and retrospectively at 2 large US children's hospitals by positive cultures from July 2018 through December 2022. Admission data were used to estimate frequency. For comparison, rates of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, and SARS-CoV-2 were estimated by the number of positive viral test results at each institution. Results: I-CO-SA infections showed little variation in the study period. Rates of iGAS infection and IPD decreased by 46% and 44%, respectively, from 2019 to 2020, coinciding with a substantial decrease in RSV and influenza. In 2022, RSV and influenza infection rates increased to prepandemic winter season rates, coinciding with a return to prepandemic rates of IPD (225% increase from 2021 to 2022) and a surge above prepandemic rates of iGAS infections (543% increase from 2021 to 2022). Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic had an unexpected influence on IPD and iGAS infections that was temporally related to changes in rates of viral infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberofad563
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2023


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