Scarlet fever is an acute infectious disease syndrome characterized by sore throat, a more or less typical enanthem, fever and a typical exanthem, or rash. The rash is the most characteristic feature, and by it alone can the diagnosis be confirmed. While this definition is generally accepted and while the majority of investigators consider scarlet fever a clinical entity, it must be kept in mind that competent, experienced clinicians, from Escherich to Schick, Hoyne, Dochez and Wadsworth, have not accepted it as a true entity or as due to a single, specific organism. Most of these dissenters have considered the rash and the other manifestations of the disease as allergic phenomena.
Since 1877, when Loeffler first observed streptococci in the pharynx of patients with scarlet fever,1 more than thirty-four groups of investigators have announced the discovery of the etiologic agent of scarlet fever.2 Eight of these isolated streptococci.