The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository
Warning ePrints Soton is experiencing an issue with some file downloads not being available. We are working hard to fix this. Please bear with us.

The feasibility of measuring calprotectin from a throat swab as a marker of infections caused by group A streptococcus: a case-control feasibility study

The feasibility of measuring calprotectin from a throat swab as a marker of infections caused by group A streptococcus: a case-control feasibility study
The feasibility of measuring calprotectin from a throat swab as a marker of infections caused by group A streptococcus: a case-control feasibility study

BACKGROUND: Most people with sore throat do not benefit from antibiotic treatment, but nearly three-quarters of those presenting in primary care are prescribed antibiotics. A test that is predictive of bacterial infection could help guide antibiotic prescribing. Calprotectin is a biomarker of neutrophilic inflammation, and may be a useful marker of bacterial throat infections.

AIM: To assess the feasibility of measuring calprotectin from throat swabs, and assess whether individuals with sore throats likely to be caused by streptococcal infections have apparently higher throat calprotectin levels than other individuals with sore throat and healthy volunteers.

DESIGN & SETTING: A proof of concept case-control study was undertaken, which compared primary care patients with sore throats and healthy volunteers.

METHOD: Baseline characteristics and throat swabs were collected from 30 primary care patients with suspected streptococcal sore throat, and throat swabs were taken from 10 volunteers without sore throat. Calprotectin level determination and rapid antigen streptococcal testing were conducted on the throat swab eluents. Calprotectin levels in the following groups were compared: volunteers without a sore throat; all patients with a sore throat; patients with a sore throat testing either negative or positive for streptococcal antigen; and those with lower and higher scores on clinical prediction rules for streptococcal sore throat.

RESULTS: Calprotectin was detected in all throat swab samples. Mean calprotectin levels were numerically higher in patients with sore throat compared with healthy volunteers, and sore throat patients who had group A streptococci antigen detected compared with those who did not.

CONCLUSION: Calprotectin can be measured from throat swab samples and levels are consistent with the hypothesis that streptococcal infection leads to higher throat calprotectin levels. This hypothesis will be tested in a larger study.

Anti-bacterial agents, Antibiotics, Calprotectin, Group A streptococci, Leukocyte L1 antigen complex, Pharyngitis, Primary health care, Sore throat
Schofield, Behnaz
0a9a7bef-6f21-4045-b7cc-fc3104d7a843
Gregory, Clive
5350c250-c2ad-41f2-bd88-c4c815b72aba
Gal, Micaela
2d266726-f171-4a55-a381-29c5a2e42ec1
Gillespie, David
757dc8d5-cae7-49ed-b099-4b44c9b0ce2b
Naik, Gurudutt
390b5e49-fe4f-4d4f-a44a-c15978c64222
Hay, Alastair
39c85dd1-4294-4345-987f-07888de3d522
Francis, Nick
9b610883-605c-4fee-871d-defaa86ccf8e
Schofield, Behnaz
0a9a7bef-6f21-4045-b7cc-fc3104d7a843
Gregory, Clive
5350c250-c2ad-41f2-bd88-c4c815b72aba
Gal, Micaela
2d266726-f171-4a55-a381-29c5a2e42ec1
Gillespie, David
757dc8d5-cae7-49ed-b099-4b44c9b0ce2b
Naik, Gurudutt
390b5e49-fe4f-4d4f-a44a-c15978c64222
Hay, Alastair
39c85dd1-4294-4345-987f-07888de3d522
Francis, Nick
9b610883-605c-4fee-871d-defaa86ccf8e

Schofield, Behnaz, Gregory, Clive, Gal, Micaela, Gillespie, David, Naik, Gurudutt, Hay, Alastair and Francis, Nick (2020) The feasibility of measuring calprotectin from a throat swab as a marker of infections caused by group A streptococcus: a case-control feasibility study. BJGP Open, 4 (2), [1006]. (doi:10.3399/bjgpopen20X101006).

Record type: Article

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Most people with sore throat do not benefit from antibiotic treatment, but nearly three-quarters of those presenting in primary care are prescribed antibiotics. A test that is predictive of bacterial infection could help guide antibiotic prescribing. Calprotectin is a biomarker of neutrophilic inflammation, and may be a useful marker of bacterial throat infections.

AIM: To assess the feasibility of measuring calprotectin from throat swabs, and assess whether individuals with sore throats likely to be caused by streptococcal infections have apparently higher throat calprotectin levels than other individuals with sore throat and healthy volunteers.

DESIGN & SETTING: A proof of concept case-control study was undertaken, which compared primary care patients with sore throats and healthy volunteers.

METHOD: Baseline characteristics and throat swabs were collected from 30 primary care patients with suspected streptococcal sore throat, and throat swabs were taken from 10 volunteers without sore throat. Calprotectin level determination and rapid antigen streptococcal testing were conducted on the throat swab eluents. Calprotectin levels in the following groups were compared: volunteers without a sore throat; all patients with a sore throat; patients with a sore throat testing either negative or positive for streptococcal antigen; and those with lower and higher scores on clinical prediction rules for streptococcal sore throat.

RESULTS: Calprotectin was detected in all throat swab samples. Mean calprotectin levels were numerically higher in patients with sore throat compared with healthy volunteers, and sore throat patients who had group A streptococci antigen detected compared with those who did not.

CONCLUSION: Calprotectin can be measured from throat swab samples and levels are consistent with the hypothesis that streptococcal infection leads to higher throat calprotectin levels. This hypothesis will be tested in a larger study.

This record has no associated files available for download.

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 23 July 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 June 2020
Additional Information: Copyright © 2020, The Authors.
Keywords: Anti-bacterial agents, Antibiotics, Calprotectin, Group A streptococci, Leukocyte L1 antigen complex, Pharyngitis, Primary health care, Sore throat

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 444576
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/444576
PURE UUID: 319abb9b-9d9e-4b09-928b-756410029ce5
ORCID for Nick Francis: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8939-7312

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 Oct 2020 17:31
Last modified: 10 Jan 2022 03:19

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Behnaz Schofield
Author: Clive Gregory
Author: Micaela Gal
Author: David Gillespie
Author: Gurudutt Naik
Author: Alastair Hay
Author: Nick Francis ORCID iD

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×