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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-30

Prevalence and pattern of beta-haemolytic streptococcal throat infections among primary school children in a rural community in rivers state

Department of Paediatrics, Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Woroma Wonodi
Department of Paediatrics, Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, 6-8 Harley Street, Forces Avenue, Old GRA, Port Harcourt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/phmj.phmj_23_19

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Background: Group A beta-haemolytic Streptococcus (GABHS) remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in humans where it causes symptomatic pharyngitis and the non-suppurative sequelae of acute rheumatic fever and post-streptococcal acute glomerulonephritis. Regional evaluation of streptococcal throat infections may be helpful in disease surveillance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and pattern of GABHS throat infections among primary school children in a rural community in Rivers State, Nigeria. Methodology: This cross-sectional study was carried out between May and July 2015 in Emohua local government area of Rivers State, Nigeria. Pupils were recruited using a multistaged random sampling technique. Throat swabs obtained were cultured using sheep blood and sent for microscopy and Lancefield grouping. Results: A total of 456 pupils aged 6–12 years were recruited, of which 54 (11.8%) had a positive throat culture of beta-haemolytic Streptococcus (BHS). The isolates were Lancefield Groups B (23; 42.6%), A (18; 33.3%), D (9; 19.6%), C (3; 5.6%) and F (1; 1.8%). No Group G BHS was isolated. Age, sex, socioeconomic class, classroom and household overcrowding did not significantly influence the prevalence of BHS throat infections. Conclusion: The prevalence of BHS throat infections in this rural community was similar to that in the urban areas in Nigeria. There was no significant difference between the prevalence of BHS in symptomatic and asymptomatic pupils.

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