Aetiology of acute pharyngitis

The role of atypical bacteria

Susanna Esposito, Francesco Blasi, Samantha Bosis, Roberta Droghetti, Nadia Faelli, Annalisa Lastrico, Nicola Principi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In order to establish the role of atypical bacteria and compare characteristics of different infectious agents in acute pharyngitis, 127 patients with acute pharyngitis (66 males; median age, 5.33 years; range, 6 months to 14 years) and 130 healthy subjects of similar sex and age were studied. Serology with paired samples and PCR on nasopharyngeal aspirates and throat cultures were used to identify bacteria and viruses. Viruses were identified in 43 patients (33.8 %) and five controls (3.8 %; P <0.0001), potential bacterial pathogens in 34 patients (26.8 %) and 26 controls (20 %; P = 0.256) and mixed viral/bacterial pathogens in 26 patients (20.5 %) and none of the controls (P <0.0001). The main aetiological agents were adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes and Chlamydia pneumoniae. M. pneumoniae was the agent found most frequently as a single pathogen. A history of recurrent pharyngitis, having older siblings and a negative outcome were significantly more common among patients with acute M. pneumoniae infection than among those with infections due to other pathogens or healthy controls. This study demonstrates that: (i) adenovirus and RSV have a prominent role in acute pharyngitis; (ii) S. pyogenes is found frequently, but it is not possible to distinguish simple carriers from patients with a true infection; (iii) M. pneumoniae appears to be able to cause acute pharyngitis per se; and (iv) C. pneumoniae seems to be mainly a co-pathogen. To avoid the risk of an incorrect therapeutic approach, simple laboratory investigations that allow rapid identification of M. pneumoniae infections are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-651
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Volume53
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004

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Pharyngitis
Mycoplasma pneumoniae
Bacteria
Chlamydophila pneumoniae
Respiratory Syncytial Viruses
Streptococcus pyogenes
Infection
Adenoviridae
Viruses
Serology
Pharynx
Streptococcus pneumoniae
Siblings
Healthy Volunteers
Polymerase Chain Reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology

Cite this

Aetiology of acute pharyngitis : The role of atypical bacteria. / Esposito, Susanna; Blasi, Francesco; Bosis, Samantha; Droghetti, Roberta; Faelli, Nadia; Lastrico, Annalisa; Principi, Nicola.

In: Journal of Medical Microbiology, Vol. 53, No. 7, 07.2004, p. 645-651.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Esposito, S, Blasi, F, Bosis, S, Droghetti, R, Faelli, N, Lastrico, A & Principi, N 2004, 'Aetiology of acute pharyngitis: The role of atypical bacteria', Journal of Medical Microbiology, vol. 53, no. 7, pp. 645-651. https://doi.org/10.1099/jmm.0.05487-0
Esposito, Susanna ; Blasi, Francesco ; Bosis, Samantha ; Droghetti, Roberta ; Faelli, Nadia ; Lastrico, Annalisa ; Principi, Nicola. / Aetiology of acute pharyngitis : The role of atypical bacteria. In: Journal of Medical Microbiology. 2004 ; Vol. 53, No. 7. pp. 645-651.
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