Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2007; 9(1):20-33
The antimicrobial agent prescription rate in patients with pharyngitis is excessively high in Russia. Most cases of the disease are caused by viruses, thus administration of antimicrobials is often unjustified. The only common bacterial cause of pharyngitis that requires antimicrobial treatment is a β-hemolytic group A streptococci. This paper reviews data on etiology and clinical presentation of streptococcal pharyngitis, currently used clinical scores, and modern principles of microbiological diagnosis of the disease. Optimal strategy of combining clinical assessments with microbiological tests is discussed in detail. Several algorithms for the diagnosis of streptococcal pharyngitis are included.