Improving antibiotics targeting using PCR point-of-care testing for group A streptococci in patients with uncomplicated acute sore throat

Ronny K Gunnarsson, Ulrich Orda, Bradley Elliott, Clare Heal, Hilary Gorges, Paul Glasziou, Chris Del Mar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Evidence supports some beneficial effects of antibiotics prescribed to patients with a sore throat and proven presence of group A streptococci (GAS).

METHOD: A total of 283 patients were included from North and North-West Queensland, Australia, at their first presentation for uncomplicated acute sore throat. Patterns of antibiotic prescribing were explored before and after testing for GAS using a rapid point-of-care polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

RESULTS: The results of the study showed the Australian Therapeutic Guidelines were often not adhered to. The PCR test reduced the proportion of patients prescribed antibiotics from 46% to 40%. The decision to prescribe antibiotics was changed in 30% of patients (P <0.001): before testing only 40% of patients prescribed antibiotics had a positive GAS PCR while this increased to 97% after testing.

DISCUSSION: An easy-to-use point-of-care test to detect GAS allows better targeting of antibiotic prescribing in patients with an uncomplicated acute sore throat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian journal of general practice
Volume50
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2021

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