This study was carried out to assess the prevalence of Group A Streptococcal (GAS) bacteria in the throat specimens of children with tonsillitis and pharyngitis compared to healthy children of the same age group.
The study was a prospective one. Throat swabs were obtained from 73 children aged 1-12 years diagnosed with acute tonsillitis and pharyngitis (sore throat and pyrexia >38.5°C) visiting a pediatric outpatient clinic between December, 1999 and April, 2000. In the same period throat swabs were obtained from 465 healthy primary school children aged 6-12 years. GAS from patients was tested for sentivity to penicillin, erythromycin, and cefaclor.
In children with tonsillitis and pharyngitis GAS was found in 29 out of 73 (40%). In healthy school children GAS was found in 15 out of 465 (3%).In the patients group GAS was sensitive to penicillin in 14(48%), erythromycin in 27(93%), and cefaclor in 28(96%)
Although the prevalence of GAS among healthy children was similar to international studies, the GAS infection was high among children with acute tonsillitis and pharyngitis. Sensitivity to penicillin was less than 50% and more than 90% for erythromycin and cefaclor. We recommend routine throat swab for children with acute tonsillitis and pharyngitis and the proper treatment of GAS positive patients to prevent further complications.