While many streptococcal infections can be categorized as Group A or B, other streptococcal infections do not fall into either category. In infants and children, these non-GAS and non-GBS infections can cause urinary tract infections, inflammation of the heart’s lining (endocarditis), respiratory tract infections, and meningitis.
Enterococcus, a bacterium that was once categorized as a streptococcal organism, can cause blood infections in newborns, as well as other infections such as urinary tract infections in older children. The most prevalent enterococci species are Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium.
If your child is sick and your pediatrician suspects a streptococcal or enterococci infection, the doctor will take samples of body fluids to test and identify any organisms that may be present. For most streptococcal infections, your child will be treated with penicillin. Because enterococcal infections are often resistant to penicillin, other drugs may be chosen. For example, when endocarditis and pneumonia are caused by enterococcal organisms, combinations of medications may be used. One combination that is used frequently is ampicillin or vancomycin with gentamicin.