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A feasibility service evaluation of screening and treatment of group A streptococcal pharyngitis in community pharmacies

Thornley, T.; Marshall, G.; Howard, P.; Wilson, A. P.R.


P. Howard

A. P.R. Wilson


Objectives: The UK 5 year antimicrobial resistance strategy recognizes the role of point-of-care diagnostics to identify where antimicrobials are required, as well as to assess the appropriateness of the diagnosis and treatment. A sore throat test-and-treat service was introduced in 35 community pharmacies across two localities in England during 2014-15. Methods: Trained pharmacy staff assessed patients presenting with a sore throat using the Centor scoring system and patients meeting three or all four of the criteria were offered a throat swab test for Streptococcus pyogenes, Lancefield group A streptococci. Patients with a positive throat swab test were offered antibiotic treatment. Results: Following screening by pharmacy staff, 149/367 (40.6%) patients were eligible for throat swab testing. Of these, only 36/149 (24.2%) were positive for group A streptococci. Antibiotics were supplied to 9.8% (n = 36/367) of all patients accessing the service. Just under half of patients that were not showing signs of a bacterial infection (60/123, 48.8%) would have gone to their general practitioner if the service had not been available. Conclusions: This study has shown that it is feasible to deliver a community-pharmacy-based screening and treatment service using point-of-care testing. This type of service has the potential to support the antimicrobial resistance agenda by reducing unnecessary antibiotic use and inappropriate antibiotic consumption.


Thornley, T., Marshall, G., Howard, P., & Wilson, A. P. (2016). A feasibility service evaluation of screening and treatment of group A streptococcal pharyngitis in community pharmacies. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 71(11), 3293-3299.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 30, 2016
Online Publication Date Jul 20, 2016
Publication Date Nov 1, 2016
Deposit Date Jan 14, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 18, 2023
Journal Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Print ISSN 0305-7453
Electronic ISSN 1460-2091
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 71
Issue 11
Pages 3293-3299
Public URL
Publisher URL


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