• Group C β-hemolytic streptococci cause rare epidemic outbreaks of pharyngitis, but their role in sporadic endemic pharyngitis has been uncertain. We addressed the question of whether non–group A β-hemolytic streptococci are associated with endemic pharyngitis in two ways. First, we compared rates of isolation from throat swabs of group A, B, C, and G and ungrouped β-hemolytic streptococci ("culture negative") in adult patients vs those rates in controls. Second, we collected in standardized form clinical indexes of patients with pharyngitis: signs and symptoms graded for severity, the examining physician's subjective estimate of the probability of streptococcal pharyngitis, a logistic regression score predicting streptococcal pharyngitis, and whether antibiotic therapy was prescribed. After collecting data and cultures on 1425 patients with sore throats and cultures on 284 controls, we found the following: group C streptococci were isolated significantly more frequently in patients with sore throats than in controls (6% vs 1.4%); four clinical signs and two symptoms distinguished group C–associated pharyngitis as more severe than culture-negative pharyngitis; and six clinical signs and one symptom distinguished group C–associated pharyngitis as less severe than group A pharyngitis. Physicians' subjective estimates, logistic regression scores, and antibiotic treatment all characterized group C–associated pharyngitis as more severe than culture-negative sore throats but less severe than group A pharyngitis. From these data we present the first definitive evidence that group C streptococci are associated with endemic pharyngitis, show that clinical presentation distinguishes a group of patients with group C–associated pharyngitis from populations with culture-negative sore throats and from those with group A pharyngitis. Physicians' response to that presentation merits consideration in the context of rapid group-specific diagnosis of streptococcal pharyngitis by group A antigen tests.
(Arch Intern Med. 1990;150:825-829)
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA Internal Medicine editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 46
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.