New strep throat guidelines tackle antibiotic resistance

New strep throat guidelines tackle antibiotic resistance
Most sore throats are actually caused by viruses.

(HealthDay)—Doctors need to accurately diagnose and treat strep throat in order to avoid inappropriate use of antibiotics that can lead to drug-resistant bacteria, according to updated guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

People often say they have strep throat. Most sore throats are caused by a virus, however, not by Streptococcus bacteria, and should not be treated with antibiotics, which are ineffective against viruses, noted an IDSA news release.

Research shows that up to 15 million people in the United States go to the doctor for a sore throat every year. As many as 70 percent of patients receive antibiotics for a sore throat, but only 20 percent of those patients have strep throat, according to the IDSA.

The guidelines also advised that when a is confirmed by testing, it should be treated with penicillin or —if the patient does not have an allergy—and not with an antibiotic such as cephalosporin.

"We recommend penicillin or amoxicillin for treating strep because they are very effective and safe in those without ," lead author Dr. Stanford Shulman, chief of at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, said in the news release.

Other antibiotics more likely to lead to drug resistance also are more expensive, Shulman added.

Children who have recurrent strep throat should not have their tonsils removed solely to reduce the frequency of throat infections, according to the guidelines.

Patients with a do not need to be tested for strep throat if they have a cough, runny nose, hoarseness or mouth sores. These are strong signs of a viral infection.

The guidelines, published online Sept. 10 and in the October issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, also outline what tests to conduct if strep throat is suspected and how to treat the condition.

More information: The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has more about strep throat.

cid.oxfordjournals.org/content… 9/06/cid.cis629.full

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Think locally when treating individually

Sep 19, 2011

By taking local biosurveillance data into account when assessing patients for communicable diseases, doctors may be able to make better diagnostic decisions, according to researchers at Children's Hospital Boston. For instance, ...

Obsessing over strep throat in kids

Oct 20, 2010

A common infection in children, strep throat can lead to problems with a child's heart, joints or brain if left untreated. And when the brain is involved, motor and mental functioning may be compromised, leading to syndromes ...

Recommended for you

Ebola mistakes should serve a lesson says WHO

12 hours ago

The World Health Organization's chief admitted on Sunday that the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve as a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future.

British Ebola nurse discharged from hospital

19 hours ago

A British nurse who contracted Ebola while working as a volunteer in Sierra Leone said she was "happy to be alive" as she was discharged from hospital on Saturday having made a full recovery.

Tide turning in Ebola fight after hard lessons

Jan 24, 2015

A top U.N. official in the fight against Ebola greeted just three patients at one treatment center he visited this week in Sierra Leone. Families in Liberia are no longer required to cremate the remains of ...

Just five Ebola cases left in Liberia: UN

Jan 24, 2015

The United Nations said on Saturday Liberia was dealing with just five remaining cases of Ebola, in the clearest sign yet that the country is nearing the end of the outbreak.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.