Throat infections

  • N Padayachee University of the Witwatersrand
  • N Schoeman Private Hospital Group
  • N Schellack University of Pretoria
Keywords: group A streptococcus, Centor score, sore throat, NSAIDs, penicillin


Throat infections, referred to as pharyngitis, are most commonly of viral origin; however, bacterial pharyngitis does occur, in which case group A streptococci (GAS) is the most observed causative pathogen. Regardless of the aetiology, pharyngitis is typically a self-limiting condition. Viral cases are managed by providing symptomatic treatment of inflammation and pain. GAS is managed with antimicrobials, after a Centor Criteria score has been calculated and a throat swab or rapid antigen test performed, should it be indicated. The biggest concern with GAS is the associated complications, such as acute rheumatic fever, which enforces the importance of an accurate diagnosis.

Author Biographies

N Padayachee, University of the Witwatersrand

Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

N Schoeman, Private Hospital Group

Hospital Pharmacist, Private Hospital Group, South Africa

N Schellack, University of Pretoria

Department of Pharmacology, University of Pretoria, South Africa