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

Gunnarsson, Ronny K., Orda, Ulrich, Elliott, Bradley, Heal, Clare, Gorges, Hilary, Glasziou, Paul, and Del Mar, Chris (2021) Improving antibiotics targeting using PCR point-of-care testing for group A streptococci in patients with uncomplicated acute sore throat. Australian Journal of General Practice, 50 (1-2). pp. 76-83.

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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).

Methods

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.

Item ID: 65910
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2208-7958
Copyright Information: © The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners 2021
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2021 02:13
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420304 General practice @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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