University of Nebraska Medical Center

Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (STSS)


Explore this page for streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) information, resources, and news.

About STSS

What is STSS?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) is a rare, but serious bacterial infection. STSS can develop very quickly into a life-threatening emergency. People with STSS need immediate care in a hospital and antibiotics. Treatment focuses on managing low blood pressure and multiple organ failure. STSS is a disease defined as an infection with Streptococcus pyogenes accompanied by sudden onset of shock and organ failure. When the bacteria produce exotoxins and virulence factors in the deep tissues and bloodstream, it can induce the cytokine cascade. Massive cytokine cascades contribute to the development of shock or organ failure. Strains that produce certain virulence factors and exotoxins, particularly streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxins, are more likely to cause severe infections, including STSS1. S. pyogenes are also called group A Streptococcus (group A strep)."