Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) have frequently been the standard diagnostic approach when specific infectious agents are sought in a clinic specimen. They can be applied for specific agents such as S. pyogenes, or commercial multiplex NAATs for detection of a variety of pathogens in gastrointestinal, bloodstream, and respiratory infections may be used. NAATs are both rapid and sensitive. For many years, S. pyogenes testing algorithms used a rapid and specific group A streptococcal antigen test to screen throat specimens, followed, in some clinical settings, by a throat culture for S. pyogenes to increase the sensitivity of its detection. Now S. pyogenes NAATs are being used with increasing frequency. Given their accuracy, rapidity, and ease of use, should they replace antigen detection and culture for the detection of bacterial pharyngitis? Bobbi Pritt and Robin Patel of the Mayo Clinic, where S. pyogenes NAATs have been used for well over a decade with great success, will explain the advantages of this approach, while Richard (Tom) Thomson and Tom Kirn of the NorthShore University HealthSystem will discuss their concerns about this approach to diagnosing bacterial pharyngitis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)