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February 18, 1974

Sore Throats: Cultures And Treatment

Author Affiliations

Fort Collins, Colo

JAMA. 1974;227(7):799-800. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230200057017

To the Editor.—  The reply to the question on "Throat Cultures in Students With 'Scratchy' Sore Throats" by Evans and Stewart (226:799, 1973) contained much misinformation. One supposes the authors are giving their own personal experience, since no references are cited.The advice to withhold therapy from students with minimal symptoms and positive throat cultures is antithetical to published recommendations.Most, if not all, students of streptococcal pharyngitis have indicated that it is impossible to predict with greater than a 50% accuracy those symptomatic individuals from whom a positive culture for group A streptococci will be obtained.1-3 Of even greater significance is the lack of correlation between signs and symptoms and antibody responses in those who are group A-positive.Kaplan et al2 have shown that one third of all cases of pharyngitis in childhood (scratchy throats included) are associated with a positive throat culture, and between 50% and