Group A streptococci (Streptococcus pyogenes) cause a broad spectrum of disease and are the primary bacterial cause of exudative tonsillitis and pharyngitis. Rheumatic fever, a resulting complication of untreated streptococcus infection, may develop 2-4 weeks after a streptococcal throat infection. In serious cases, rheumatic fever can cause heart disease.
ARUP Laboratory Tests
Gold standard for confirming group A streptococcal infection
Order when rapid testing is negative and suspicion of streptococcus is moderately high
Confirm current or recent group A streptococcal infection in patients suspected of having a nonsuppurative complication such as acute glomerulonephritis (AGN) or acute rheumatic fever (ARF)
DNase-B and antistreptolysin O (ASO) antibody tests are generally ordered concurrently
Preferred test for rheumatic chorea since it remains elevated longer
Confirm a prior infection with group A streptococcus in patients suspected of having a nonsuppurative complication such as AGN or ARF
DNase-B and ASO antibody tests are generally ordered concurrently
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Group A streptococcal (GAS) disease: pharyngitis (strep throat). [Last reviewed: Nov 2018; Accessed: Feb 2020]
Martins TB, Augustine NH, Hill HR. Development of a multiplexed fluorescent immunoassay for the quantitation of antibody responses to group A streptococci. J Immunol Methods. 2006;316(1-2):97–106.