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Recovering Streptococci from the throat, a practical alternative to direct plating in Remote tropical communities

McDonald, Malcolm I., Towers, Rebecca, Fagan, Peter K., McKinnon, Melita, Benger, Norma, Andrews, Ross M., Currie, Bart J. and Carapetis, Jonathan R. (2006). Recovering Streptococci from the throat, a practical alternative to direct plating in Remote tropical communities. Journal of Clinical Microbiology,44(2):547-552.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 10452xPUB31
Title Recovering Streptococci from the throat, a practical alternative to direct plating in Remote tropical communities
Author McDonald, Malcolm I.
Towers, Rebecca
Fagan, Peter K.
McKinnon, Melita
Benger, Norma
Andrews, Ross M.
Currie, Bart J.
Carapetis, Jonathan R.
Journal Name Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Publication Date 2006
Volume Number 44
Issue Number 2
ISSN 0095-1137   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 547
End Page 552
Total Pages 6
Place of Publication Washington, United States
Publisher American Society for Microbiology
Field of Research 1108 - Medical Microbiology
0707 - Veterinary Sciences
0605 - Microbiology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Throat swabs are regarded as the gold standard for diagnosing streptococcal pharyngitis and for surveillance research. Culturing throats in remote tropical settings is logistically difficult, and these settings are commonly burdened by high rates of streptococcal disease. The survival of streptococci on swabs may depend on whether they are of throat or skin type, as determined by emm pattern typing. The aims of this study were to compare the recovery rates of beta-hemolytic streptococci (BHS) using three different transport methods and to determine whether the recovery rates correlated with the emm pattern type. Monthly duplicate throat swabs were taken from occupants of selected households in three remote Aboriginal communities. Paired swabs were separated and handled in one of three ways: (i) direct inoculation onto culture media with cold-box transport (plated), (ii) sealed in a bag with a silica gel desiccant and cold-box transport (desiccant), and (iii) transport at ambient temperature and humidity (ambient). emm pattern typing was done by standard methods. Over 23 months, 4,842 throat swabs were taken, and 4,122 were paired. BHS were recovered on 11.5% of the 4,842 occasions (group A, 4.5%; group C, 1.7%; group G, 5.4%). Results from paired swabs showed the plated method was superior to desiccant and desiccant was better than ambient. Pooled data indicated that plated and desiccant were equivalent, and both were significantly better than ambient. There was no correlation between the emm pattern type and recovery of group A streptococci by different methods. In tropical and remote settings, cold-box transport with desiccant and subsequent inoculation of culture plates in the laboratory is a practical alternative to direct plating.
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Additional Notes Copyright by the American Society for Microbiology

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