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Prompt antibiotic therapy is associated with faster subsidence of symptoms, prevention of complications and reduced spread of the strain to others.1 In fact, if left untreated, serious sequelae such as rheumatic fever and glomerularnephritis may occur. However, the diagnosis of Strep A pharyngitis based on clinical features alone is unreliable even for experienced physicians.1,3 Although Strep A is the cause in only 15% - 30% of cases, antibiotics are prescribed in 55% - 75% of cases.1 Throat swab culture is the gold standard test but delays diagnosis for at least 18- 72 hours.2
- Maltezou, H.C. et al. (2008) Evaluation of a rapid antigen detection test in the diagnosis of streptococcal pharyngitis in children and its impact on antibiotic prescription. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 62:1407–1412.
- Lasseter, G.M. et al. (2009) In vitro evaluation of five rapid antigen detection tests for group A beta-haemolytic Streptococcal sore throat infections. Family Practice, 1-8.
- Lin, M.H. et al. (2003) Epidemiological and clinical features of group A Streptococcus pharyngitis in children. Acta Paediatr Taiwan, 44(5):274-8.