- Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A Streptococcus, the predominant bacterial pathogen)
- Mycoplasma pneumoniae
- Arcanobacterium haemolyticum (can mimic S. pyogenes, most often in college-aged students, also accompanied by diffuse macular rash)
- Bordetella pertussis
- Streptococci: other including Group C, Group F, Group G
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