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An Assessment of Rapid Streptococcal Tests in Community Clinics in Israel

This study has been completed.
Dept of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
Information provided by:
Meir Medical Center Identifier:
First received: September 24, 2007
Last updated: May 2, 2010
Last verified: September 2009

There is a large over-use of antibiotics in family medicine, especially in upper respiratory tract infections.

This study is designed to determine if the use of rapid Streptococcal tests in primary care clinics can lower the rate of antibiotic use while not missing bacterial infections.

Condition Intervention
Streptococcus Pyogenes Infection
Streptococcus Pyogenes Identification
Device: rapid streptococcal testing

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Diagnostic
Official Title: A Comparison of Available Rapid Streptococcus A Tests in Community Clinics in Israel: Accuracy, Ease of Use and Acceptability.

Further study details as provided by Meir Medical Center:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • sensitivity of RST specificity of RST [ Time Frame: 3-4 months ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • ease of use effect on antibacterial prescribing [ Time Frame: 3-4 months ]

Estimated Enrollment: 7000
Study Start Date: October 2007
Study Completion Date: July 2009
Primary Completion Date: July 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
No Intervention: 1
All patients fulfilling inclusion criteria will be evaluated for GAS infection using both a rapid streptococcus test and also a standard throat culture
Device: rapid streptococcal testing
Each patient will have both RST and standard throat culture performed. Final diagnosis and treatment will be determined by throat culture

Detailed Description:

Pharyngitis is a clinical diagnosis which requires antibiotic treatment only if caused by group A Streptococcus (GAS).

However, it is impossible to identify by clinical signs alone those patients whose symptoms are caused by this pathogen.

Diagnosis demands a throat culture, which requires at least 24 hours to rule in infection and 48 hours to rule it out.

Rapid Streptococcal tests (RST) based on antigen identification have been in use for over 10 years. These allow determination of the presence of GAS within 10 minutes using tests designed for point of care use.

While the specificity of these tests is generally reported as high (90-95%), the sensitivity is quoted at between 60% and 90% , depending on author affiliation, place of testing and type of test.

Various protocols have been put forward, these combine clinical signs (Centor criteria) with RST or throat cultures in order to lower antibiotic over-use.

These protocols are often under-used by primary physicians, even when RSTs are available.

Clalit health services, the largest HMO in Israel, has decided to evaluate all the RSTs available in the country in community clinic settings in order to determine the feasibility of adopting these tests to improve clinical care.

The sensitivity, specificity and ease-of-use will be assessed in 25 clinics in various settings (urban and rural). Gold standard will be a standard throat culture processed in the district laboratory.

The effect of point-of-care testing will be estimated by requiring physicians to decide on antibiotic use before receiving the result of the RST. (They will be free to change this decision after the test).

Clinics were selected by number of throat cultures sent in previous years. The number of patients was determined using the positivity rates of 2005. The results of this study will enable us to estimate the benefit and cost of adopting RSTs, and to determine in which situations they will be most efficacious.


Ages Eligible for Study:   3 Years and older   (Child, Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • sore throat
  • at least two Centor criteria:
  • fever > 38 deg C or history of fever
  • enlarged cervical lymph nodes
  • tonsillar exudate
  • lack of cough
  • age 3-14 years

Exclusion Criteria:

  • antibiotic treatment in preceding 7 days
  • no informed consent
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00535093

Clalit Health Services
Jerusalem, Israel
Sponsors and Collaborators
Meir Medical Center
Dept of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
Principal Investigator: Ian N Miskin, MD Clalit Health Services, Jerusalem district
  More Information

Responsible Party: Ian MiskinMD, Clalit Health Services Jerusalem Israel Identifier: NCT00535093     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: HT4152
Study First Received: September 24, 2007
Last Updated: May 2, 2010

Keywords provided by Meir Medical Center:
Community infections
Rapid Testing
Group A Streptococcus

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Pharyngeal Diseases
Stomatognathic Diseases
Respiratory Tract Infections
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases processed this record on April 28, 2017