Diagnostic accuracy of QuickVue® Dipstick Strep A test and its effect on antibiotic prescribing in children in the United Arab Emirates
Shabestari, Seyed Ali Safizadeh
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Background: Unnecessary antibiotic prescription to patients with upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) has led to the increase in antibiotics resistant bacteria rates. In this study, we evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of QuickVue® Dipstick Strep A test (QV-SAT) in children presenting with acute pharyngotonsillitis and its effect on antibiotic prescribing. Methods: A single-gated diagnostic accuracy study of children with fever, runny nose, and tonsillitis presenting to a paediatric clinic between March 2016 and September 2018. Paired throat swabs for QV-SAT and culture were collected. None of the children received antibiotics prior to sample collection. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) of the test were calculated. Results: Two hundred four children were included in this study. 111 (54.4%) were boys and 146 (71.6%) were under the age of 5 years. QV-SAT was positive in 44 (21.6%) and throat cult ure was positive for Group A β- haemolytic Streptococcus (GAS) in 42 (20.6%) of the children. The results of QV-SAT were highly consistent with culture results: only 2 (0.9%) children with negative results had a positive throat culture. The sensitivity of the QV-SAT in the identification of GAS infection was 100% (95% CI 91.6%, 100%) and the NPV was 100% (95% CI 99.9%, 100%). Only 42 children ( 20.6%) were given antibiotics, while 162 (79.4%) were not. Conclusion: The QV-SAT is a quick and reliable test that can help dramatically reduce antibiotic prescriptions to children presenting with fever and acute pharyngotonsillitis.