Group A Streptococcus is a major cause of upper respiratory infections in human, being the most significant pathogen causing pharyngitis. In the paediatric population, it is estimated that 30% of pharyngitis are caused by Group A Streptococcus. The symptoms may become more severe if not treated and the patient can develop complications such as rheumatic fever, toxic-shock like syndrome and glomerulonephritis. So, a rapid identification to initiate an antibiotic treatment can prevent these complications.
Conventional methods used to identify Group A Streptococcus involve 24-48 h culture of throat swabs specimens and its confirmation of beta-hemolytic colonies as Group A Streptococcus. The Simple/Stick Strep A test is a rapid immunochromatographic method which employs specific antibodies against an antigen (a carbohydrate present in the wall cell) unique to Group A Streptococcus. To perform the test, a throat specimen is collected and the antigen is extracted with Sample Diluent Buffers 1 and 2 that has to be mixed previously before the addition of the swab.
The test detects either viable or non viable organism directly from throat swabs or culture colonies within 10 minutes (or less in the case of high positive samples).