Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Student Scholarship

Date Written

Summer 7-27-2017

Document Type


Course Number


Course Name

Advanced Pathophysiology

Professor’s Name



Virulence, pathogen, non-motile, extracellular, bacterium, sepsis

Subject Categories

Family Practice Nursing | Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing



Group A Streptococcal (GAS) bacteria is a common but potent pathogen. GAS is the most common cause of pharyngitis in the world and can be easily treated with the right antibiotic. Left untreated or undertreated, however, GAS is the ninth leading cause of infectious disease mortality, worldwide. Lethality from a GAS infection is 10-30%. The virulence factors of GAS are responsible for the short and long term havoc it wreaks on an individual, and the incredible disease burden of 18.1 million severe cases of GAS, annually, around the globe. In the U.S., each year, GAS pharyngitis, alone, costs $500 million dollars, with 616 million cases of strep pharyngitis worldwide, annually. The short term impact of GAS can cause any one of a dozen suppurative infections, or may create longer term implications with one of the various non-suppurative GAS diseases, such as endocarditis, PANDAS, or toxic shock. Research is discovering genetic factors making some individuals more or less susceptible to GAS infections. Progress is slow but promising as researchers are looking for ways to develop an effective vaccine that can prevent GAS infections and reduce the disease burden of the powerful pathogen that creates an annual death toll of 500,000 – 650,000 lives around the world. The effective practitioner benefits from an acute awareness of signs and symptoms of GAS, including all possible manifestations GAS can take so this pathogen can be identified and arrested quickly, minimizing impact and negative outcomes for patients, populations, and the healthcare system.

Keywords: pathogen, virulence, disease burden, genetic factors, vaccine



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