A comparative study of the diagnostic methods for Group A streptococcal sore throat in two reference hospitals in Yaounde, Cameroon

  • HK Gonsu
  • CM Bomki
  • F Djomou
  • M Toukam
  • VN Ndze
  • EE Lyonga
  • CD Mbakop
  • S Koulla-Shiro
Keywords: Group A-beta hemolytic streptococcus, sore throat, rapid antigen diagnostic test, sensitivity, specificity, Cameroon


Introduction: Sore throat is a common complaint in general practice which is more frequent in children. The most frequent pathogenic bacteria
associated with this infection is Streptococcus pyogenes. Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Test (RADT) facilitates the rapid identification and consequently
prompt treatment of patients, prevents complications, and also reduces the risk of spread of Group A Streptococcus (GAS). The main objective of
this study was to assess the diagnostic value of a rapid streptococcal antigen detection test in patients with sore throat.

Methods: A crosssectional descriptive study was carried out from January to April 2011 on patients aged 3 to 72 years consulting for pharyngitis or sore throat at the paediatric and Ear, Nose and Throat units of the University Teaching Hospital Yaounde and the Central Hospital Yaounde. Two throat swabs were collected per patient. One was used for the rapid test and the other for standard bacteriological analysis.

Results: The prevalence of GAS in the study population was 22.5%. Out of the 71 samples collected, the RADT detected group A streptococcal  antigens in 12 of 16 positive cultures giving a sensitivity of 75%. The specificity of the rapid test was 96%, with positive predictive value of 85.7%, and negative predictive value of 93% respectively.

Conclusion: Rapid test may have an additional value in the management of patients with high risk of having GAS infection. However, tests with a higher sensitivity are needed for accurate and reliable results for early  diagnosis of patients with sore throat caused by GAS.


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eISSN: 1937-8688