Strep A in primary healthcare

Acute pharyngitis, or sore throat, is a common reason for visiting a primary health care professional1–4. Although most cases of sore throat are benign and self-limiting, infections caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, Strep A, require antibiotic treatment.

Specific features of sore throat and Strep A

  • Sore throat is usually due to an inflammatory response to viral or bacterial infection.2,3
  • Most cases of sore throat are caused by viruses.
  • Of bacteria, Strep A is the most likely causative organism.
  • Strep A sore throat affects mainly children and young adults.4–9
  • Symptoms of Strep A infection and those caused by other micro-organisms often overlap.4,5
  • Antibiotic therapy reduces the duration of symptoms.1,10
  • The amount of antibiotic prescriptions due to Strep A sore throat exceed by far the expected prevalence of this infection.

As the signs and symptoms of Strep A infection and those of pharyngitis caused by other micro-organisms (most commonly viral) often overlap4,6, it is difficult to make an diagnosis on clinical grounds only.11 To avoid inappropriate antibiotic treatment of large numbers of patients with pharyngitis, it is important to verify or exclude Strep A infection.4,5 The diagnosis should be based on clinical and epidemiological data supported by laboratory tests.2–4

Use of throat sample culture is an accurate and sensitive diagnostic way for finding out if Strep A is the cause for pharyngitis. The culture, however, takes time and the result is available only next day. Strep A rapid antigen tests are easy to use and reliable enough for primary care use to support the decision to prescribe antibiotics while the patient is at the doctor.

QuikRead go® products assist in deciding on the right treatment

QuikRead go® Strep A is a simple, qualitative test for the detection of Strep A in a throat sample in pharyngitis patients. It provides an accurate and timely result during the consultation. The result, either positive or negative, is distinctively displayed on the instrument eliminating the uncertainty and subjectivity associated with the Strep A tests that require visual interpretation, thus giving confidence in result.

Read more: QuikRead go Strep A

QuikRead go is not registered in the USA.

Published February 8, 2016


  1. Del Mar CB et al.. Antibiotics for sore throat (Cochrane review). In:The Cochrane library, Issue2, 2004. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
  2. Bisno AL, Peter GS, Kaplan EL. Diagnosis of Strep throat in adults: Are Criteria Really Good Enough? Clin Infect Dis 2002; 35: 126-9.
  3. Ebel MH et al.The rational clinical examination.Does This Patient Have Strep A Throat? JAMA 2000; 284: 2912-18.
  4. Bisno AL, Gerber MA, Gwaltney JM Jr, Kaplan EL, Schwartz RH. Practise Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Group A Streptococcal Pharyngitis. CID 2002; 35(2); 113-25.
  5. Bisno AL. Acute pharyngitis. N Engl J Med 2001;344(3): 205-11.
  6. Cooper RJ et al. Principles of Appropriate Antibiotic Use for Acute Pharyngitis in Adults: Background. Ann intern Med 2011; 134(6): 509-17.
  7. Snow V et al. Principles of Appropriate Antibiotic Use for Acute Pharyngitis in Adults: Background. Ann intern Med 2011; 134(6): 506-8.
  8. Linder JA, Stafford RS. Antibiotic Treatment of Adults With Sore Throat by Community primary Care Physicians: A National Survey, 1989-1999. JAMA 2001; 286(16): 1181-6.
  9. Linder JA et al. Antibiotic Treatment of Children With Sore Throat. JAMA 2005;294 (18): 2315-22.
  10. Snellman LW et al. Duration of Positive Throat Cultures for Group A Streptococci After initiation of Antibiotic Therapy. Pediatrics, 1993; 91: 1166-70.
  11. Gulich MS et al. Improving diagnostic accuracy of bacterial pharyngitis by near patient measurement of C-reactive protein (CRP). Br Gen Pract 1999;49: 119-21.