Objective: To determine the proportion of children with or without pharyngitis in Blantyre with a positive throat swab culture for Streptococcal pyogenes (Group A Streptococcus)
To measure the age-stratified (<5, 5+ year olds) prevalence of Group A Streptococcus (GrAS), Group C Streptococcus and Group G Streptococcus detected in the oro-pahrynx of children attending the QECH with or without symptoms of pharyngitis.
Methods: 1000 throat swabs from children presenting to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi were collected.
Results: A total of 22 (2.2%) samples had laboratory confirmation of presence of bacteria: 20 grew GrAS, 1 Group C streptococcus and 1 Group G streptococcus. 82% of the which were greater than 5years. 36.5% of the participants had symptoms of pharyngitis during the time of swab collection and 13(3.6%) of them had laboratory confirmed presence of bacteria with 11 (3%) being GrAS. 4.8% of the participants with the presence of GrAS had Tonsillar erythema, Tonsillar swelling, Pharyngeal exudate and Tonsillar exudate. On the multivariable analysis, the significant predictors for GrAS presence was presence Tonsillar erythema, Tonsillar swelling, Pharyngeal exudate or Tonsillar exudate.
Conclusion: This is the first study in Malawi to look into the prevalence of GrAS in the oro-pharynx of children. The prevalence rate is lower than expected and the data highlights the need to look into the wider community to determine the community prevalence and carriage rate.