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Treatment and prevention of streptococcal tonsillopharyngitis

Michael E Pichichero, MD
Section Editors
Daniel J Sexton, MD
Morven S Edwards, MD
Deputy Editor
Sheila Bond, MD


Tonsillopharyngitis due to Streptococcus pyogenes, also known as group A Streptococcus (GAS) (table 1 and table 2), presents with abrupt onset of sore throat, tonsillar exudate, tender cervical adenopathy, and fever, followed by spontaneous resolution within two to five days. Patients with sore throat lasting longer than one week usually do not have GAS tonsillopharyngitis.

Issues related to treatment and prevention of group A streptococcal tonsillopharyngitis will be reviewed here [1]. A general approach to patients with pharyngitis and the factors responsible for antibiotic failure are discussed separately. (See "Evaluation of acute pharyngitis in adults" and "Group A streptococcal tonsillopharyngitis in children and adolescents: Clinical features and diagnosis" and "Antibiotic failure in the treatment of streptococcal tonsillopharyngitis".)


Goals of antimicrobial therapy for eradication of group A Streptococcus (GAS) from the pharynx in the setting of acute streptococcal pharyngitis include:

Reducing duration and severity of clinical signs and symptoms, including suppurative complications

Reducing incidence of nonsuppurative complications (eg, acute rheumatic fever)

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Literature review current through: Sep 2017. | This topic last updated: Feb 16, 2017.
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