Studies of group A, M type 49 streptococci from England, Trinidad and Alaska indicate that isolates of this serotype often differ with respect to phage subtype from one geographical areato another, but are generally homogeneous in one place at one time. The findings support the conclusion that acute glomerulonephritis can be associated with a variety of phage subtypes of M type 49 streptococci.
In outbreaks of skin sepsis without nephritis in England, the phage subtypes of M type 49 streptococci isolated from skin lesions of meat handlers were the same as those recovered from skin lesions of non-meat handlers in the same community.
The findings on the Trinidad isolates suggest that M type 49 streptococci of one phage subtype may persist in a population for 9 years and may result in a second outbreak of acute glomerulonephritis.
In an Alaska Eskimo population in whom acute glomerulonephritis was occurring, most of the M type 49 isolates available for testing were of a single phage subtype. Equally prevalent in this population were group A streptococci that exhibited the same T antigen as the type 49 isolates but differed in their serum opacity reaction and phage subtype. This apparently related strain was not typable with available M antisera but showed functional evidence of M protein and is probably a new M type.