Advances in Therapy

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 277–287 | Cite as

Group A β-hemolytic streptococcal pharyngitis in children

  • Alexander K. C. Leung
  • James D. Kellner


Group A β-hemolytic streptococcus (GABHS) is the most common bacterial cause of acute pharyngitis in children. Because clinical findings can be nonspecific, even experienced physicians cannot reliably diagnose GABHS pharyngitis solely on the basis of clinical presentation. Suspected cases should be confirmed by a throat culture or a rapid antigen detection test before antibiotic therapy is initiated. Microbiologic testing is generally not necessary in patients with pharyngitis whose clinical and epidemiologic findings are not suggestive of GABHS. Clinical score systems have been developed to help physicians decide which patients should undergo diagnostic testing and to reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics. Antibiotic therapy should be initiated as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed. Penicillin V remains the drug of choice. Alternative therapy, eg, with cephalosporin or macrolide, is often sought because of penicillin allergy, noncompliance, and treatment failure.


Group A β-hemolytic streptococcus pharyngitis microbiologic testing antimicrobial therapy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science and Business Media and LLC 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander K. C. Leung
    • 1
  • James D. Kellner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Calgary Alberta Children’s HospitalCalgaryCanada

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