Recurrent Streptococcal Pharyngotonsillitis Studies on etiology and treatment

Arne Orrling

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

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In acute pharyngotonsillitis group A streptococci (GAS) is the etiological agent in 30-50% of cases. Phenoxymethylpenicillin (pcV) is the drug of choice in Sweden. However, the failure rate is as high as 5-25% and further pcV treatment is followed by still higher failure rates. The background of failures remains largely elusive. The aim of the studies was: 1 To investigate the short- and long-term efficacy of pcV versus clindamycin in patients with GAS pharyngotonsillitis who failed on pcV treatment. 2 To examine failure and non-failure strains considering so called penicillin-tolerance. 3 To compare the DNA-profiles of failure and non-failure strains. 4 To evaluate the kinetics of pcV, loracarbef and clindamycin in tonsillar surface fluid (TSF). Bacterial failure was defined as presence of GAS of the primary T-type within two weeks after completing therapy. 239 patients with GAS pharyngotonsillitis were treated with pcV for ten days. 53 patients with bacterial failure were randomized to treatment with either pcV or clindamycin and were then followed for one year. Failure and non-failure strains were screened for penicillin tolerance and some were subjected to time killing tests. Using AP-PCR the DNA-profiles of failure and non-failure strains were compared. PcV, loracarbef and clindamycin were investigated regarding concentration in TSF during and after ten days treatment of GAS pharyngotonsillitis. CRP and orosomucoid were analyzed throughout the investigation period. In the pcV group 14/22 patients yielded GAS in the throat culture after the first retreatment, compared to 0/26 in the clindamycin group. In the first three months 15/22 patients in the pcV group yielded one or more positive cultures for GAS, all of the same T-type as compared to 3/26 in the clindamycin group, which all were of another T-type. The difference between the groups was later reduced. However, clindamycin could prevent further treatment failures for at least the first three months after failure in pcV treated GAS pharyngotonsillitis. No penicillin tolerant strains could be identified and penicillin tolerance seems to be of no significance in failures of pcV treated GAS pharyngotonsillitis. The strains were of three different T-types, and eleven different clones were identified. The same clones were found in both failures and non-failures. PcV was found in TSF during the first three day period of treatment, after which the concentration declined. Loracarbef and clindamycin showed more longstanding concentration in TSF, with measurable values even after therapy. This may contribute to their capacity to eradicate GAS in patients who failed on pcV treatment of GAS pharyngotonsillitis. CRP was of no significance as indicator of GAS as a cause of pharyngotonsillitis.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Otorhinolaryngology (Lund)
  • Stjernquist-Desatnik, Anna, Supervisor
Award date2006 Apr 1
ISBN (Print)91-85481-57-2
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2006-04-01
Time: 09:15
Place: Föreläsningssal 3 Centralblocket Universitetssjukhuset Lund

External reviewer(s)

Name: Roos, Kristian
Title: Associate Professor
Affiliation: Göteborg University


<div class="article_info">A Orrling, A Stjernquist-Desatnik, C Schalén and C Kamme. <span class="article_issue_date">1994</span>. <span class="article_title">Clindamycin in persisting streptococcal pharyngotonsillitis after penicillin treatment.</span> <span class="journal_series_title">Scand J Inf Dis</span>, <span class="journal_volume">vol 26</span> <span class="journal_pages">pp 535-41</span>.</div>
<div class="article_info">A Orrling, A Stjernquist-Desatnik, C Schalén and C Kamme. <span class="article_issue_date">1997</span>. <span class="article_title">Clindamycin in recurrent group A streptococcal pharyngotonsillitis - An alternative to tonsillectomy.</span> <span class="journal_series_title">Acta Otolaryngol (Stockh)</span>, <span class="journal_volume">vol 117</span> <span class="journal_pages">pp 618-22</span>.</div>
<div class="article_info">A Orrling, A Stjernquist-Desatnik, C Schalén and C Kamme. <span class="article_issue_date">1996</span>. <span class="article_title">Treatment failure in streptococcal pharyngotonsillitis. An attempt to identify penicillin tolerant streptococcus pyogenes.</span> <span class="journal_series_title">Scand J Infect Dis</span>, <span class="journal_volume">vol 28</span> <span class="journal_pages">pp 143-7</span>.</div>
<div class="article_info">A Orrling, E Karlsson, Å Melhus and A Stjernquist-Desatnik. <span class="article_issue_date">2001</span>. <span class="article_title">Penicillin treatment failure in group A streptococcal tonsillopharyngitis: No genetic difference found between strains isolated from failures and nonfailures.</span> <span class="journal_series_title">Ann Otology Rhinol Laryngol</span>, <span class="journal_volume">vol 110</span> <span class="journal_pages">pp 690-5</span>.</div>
<div class="article_info">A Orrling, C Kamme and A Stjernquist-Desatnik. <span class="article_issue_date">2005</span>. <span class="article_title">Penicillin V, loracarbef and clindamycin in tonsillar surface fluid during acute group A streptococcal pharyngotonsillitis.</span> <span class="journal_series_title">Scand J Inf Dis</span>, <span class="journal_volume">vol 37</span> <span class="journal_pages">pp 429-35</span>.</div>

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Otorhinolaryngology


  • auditive system and speech
  • Otorinolaryngologi
  • Infektioner
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Infections
  • Clindamycin.
  • Penicillin tolerance
  • Tonsillar surface fluid
  • treatment failure
  • Group A streptococci
  • hörsel- och talorganen
  • audiologi
  • audiology
  • Recurrent streptococcal pharyngotonsillitis


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