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עמוד בית
Sat, 20.04.24

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July 2023
Maayan Diti Machnes MD, Herman Avner Cohen MD, Maya Gerstein MD, Yiska Loewenberg Weisband MD, Moriya Cohen MD, Moshe Hoshen PhD, Vered Shkalim Zemer MD

Background: Group A Streptococcus (GAS), the predominant bacterial pathogen of pharyngitis, is sometimes difficult to distinguish clinically from viral pharyngitis. Despite the high prevalence of viral pharyngitis in children, antibiotic treatment is common.

Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of an antibiotic stewardship program (ASP) on antibiotic prescription in children with GAS pharyngitis (GAS-P) at a large pediatric community clinic.

Methods: Antibiotic prescription data were collected from October 2016 to March 2017 (pre-intervention period) and from October 2017 to March 2018 (post-intervention period). The intervention was a one-day seminar for primary care pediatricians on the diagnosis and treatment of GAS-P in children according to national guidelines.

Results: The overall prevalence of testing differed between the two time periods. There was a decrease in children who did not undergo any testing (from 68% to 63%), an increase in streptococcal rapid antigen detection testing (28% to 32%), and a slight increase in throat cultures (3% to 4%) (p = 0.02). There was no change in the types of antibiotics prescribed before and after the intervention (p = 0.152).

Conclusions: The ASP resulted in a slight reduction in the percentage of children who did not undergo laboratory testing for GAS-P and a slight reduction in the percentage of children who received antibiotic treatment. The ASP did not reduce the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics and macrolides.

December 2018
Tzvika Porges MD, Tali Shafat MD, Iftach Sagy MD, Lior Zeller MD, Carmi Bartal MD, Tamara Khutarniuk MD, Alan Jotkowitz MD and Leonid Barski MD

Background: Erythema nodosum (EN) is the most common type of panniculitis, commonly secondary to infectious diseases.

Objectives: To elucidate the causative factors and the clinical presentation of patients with EN (2004–2014) and to compare their data to those reported in a previous study.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted of all patients diagnosed with EN who were hospitalized at Soroka University Medical Center (2004–2014). The clinical, demographic, and laboratory characteristics of the patients were compared to those in a cohort of patients diagnosed with EN from 1973–1982.

Results: The study comprised 45 patients with a diagnosis of EN. The most common symptoms of patients hospitalized with EN were arthritis or arthralgia (27% of patients). Patients with EN, compared to those reported in 1987, has significantly lower rates of fever (18% vs. 62% P < 0.001), streptococcal infection (16% vs. 44%, P = 0.003), and joint involvement (27% vs. 66%, P < 0.001). In addition, fewer patients had idiopathic causes of EN (9% vs. 32%, P = 0.006).

Conclusions: In the past decades, clinical, epidemiological, and etiological changes have occurred in EN patients. The lowering in rate of fever, streptococcal infection, and joint involvement in patients with EN are probably explained by improvements in socioeconomic conditions. The significantly decreasing rate of idiopathic causes of EN is possibly due to the greater diagnostic accuracy of modern medicine. The results of the present study demonstrate the impact of improvements in socioeconomic conditions and access to healthcare on disease presentation.

July 2017
Donato Rigante MD, Stefano Gentileschi MD, Antonio Vitale MD, Giusyda Tarantino MD and Luca Cantarini MD PhD

Fevers recurring at a nearly predictable rate every 3–8 weeks are the signature symptom of periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis, cervical adenitis (PFAPA) syndrome, an acquired autoinflammatory disorder which recurs in association with at least one sign among aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis, and/or cervical lymph node enlargement without clinical signs related to upper respiratory airways or other localized infections. The disease usually has a rather benign course, although it might relapse during adulthood after a spontaneous or treatment-induced resolution in childhood. The number of treatment choices currently available for PFAPA syndrome has grown in recent years, but data from clinical trials dedicated to this disorder are limited to small cohorts of patients or single case reports. The response of PFAPA patients to a single dose of corticosteroids is usually striking, while little data exist for treatment with cimetidine and colchicine. Preliminary interesting results have been published with regard to vitamin D supplementation in PFAPA syndrome, while inhibition of interleukin-1 might represent an intriguing treatment for PFAPA patients who have not responded to standard therapies. Tonsillectomy has been proven curative in many studies related to PFAPA syndrome, although the evidence of its efficacy is not widely shared by different specialists, including pediatricians, rheumatologists and otorhynolaryngologists.

September 2008
Y. Linhart, Z. Amitai, M. Lewis, S. Katser, A. Sheffer and T. Shohat

Background: Food-borne pharyngitis outbreaks causing substantial morbidity have been documented.

Objectives: To investigate an outbreak of food-borne Streptococcus beta hemolyticus group A pharyngitis among employees of a high-tech company.

Methods: We received a report on an unusually high rate of morbidity among employees of a company in September 2003. The Tel Aviv District Health Office conducted an epidemiological investigation of the outbreak.

Results: Among the 278 people who attended a company party, 83 people became ill. The overall attack rate was 29.8%. Information was available on 174 of 193 employees and family members who attended the party and worked in the Tel Aviv district. Forty-six of them became ill (attack rate 26.4%). The secondary attack rate was 3.8%. Most cases developed symptoms 24–48 hours following the event. Seven cases had throat cultures positive for Streptococcus beta hemolyticus group A. Three items were significantly associated with becoming sick: spring chicken (odds ratio 2.26, 95% confidence interval 1.11–4.63, P = 0.02), vegetable salad (OR[1] 2.88 95%CI[2] 1.40–5.94, P = 0.003) and corn (OR 7.73, 95%CI 3.18–18.80, P < 0.001). Eating corn remained significantly associated with pharyngitis after controlling for other food items consumed.

Conclusions: We describe the epidemiological investigation of a large food-borne outbreak of Streptococcus beta hemolyticus group A pharyngitis most probably transmitted by corn. No previous publication has implicated corn. Food handlers and the public should be aware that they can transmit diseases to others.. Physicians should be aware that streptococcal pharyngitis could be a food-borne disease and that outbreaks in a non-confined setting may be easily missed.


[1] OR = odds ratio

[2] CI = confidence interval

May 2008
S. Padeh, N. Stoffman, Y. Berkun.

Background: The new syndrome, known as PFAPA, of periodic fever characterized by abrupt onset of fever, malaise, aphthous stomatitis, tonsillitis, pharyngitis and cervical adenopathy  has been described only in pediatric patients. It usually begins before the age of 5 years and in most cases resolves spontaneously before age 10. 

Objectives: To describe a series of adults with PFAPA syndrome.

Methods: This 6 year retrospective descriptive study includes all newly diagnosed incident adult cases aged 18 years and over referred to our center with symptomatology suggestive of PFAPA syndrome. Patients’ medical records were reviewed for past history of the disease, demographic characteristics, symptoms and signs, course of the disease, laboratory findings, and outcome following corticosteroid therapy. The comparison group included our pediatric cohort children (N=320, age 0–18 years) followed for the last 14 years (1994–2008).

Results: Fifteen adult patients were diagnosed with PFAPA syndrome. Episodes of fever occurred at 4.6 ± 1.3 week intervals, beginning at the age of 20.9 ± 7.5.  All patients had monthly attacks at the peak of the disease, with attacks recurring at 4–8 week intervals over the years. Between episodes the patients were apparently healthy, without any accompanying diseases. Attacks were aborted by a single 60 mg dose of oral prednisone in all patients.

Conclusions: This study reports the presence of PFAPA syndrome in adult patients. Although the disease is rare, an increased awareness by both patients and family physicians of this clinical syndrome has resulted in more frequent diagnosis in adult patients.

September 2006
D. Nitzan Kaluski, E. Barak, Z. Kaufman, L. Valinsky, E. Marva, Z. Korenman, Z. Gorodnitzki, R. Yishai, D. Koltai, A. Leventhal, S. Levine, O. Havkin and M.S. Green

Contamination of food with streptococci could present with unusual outbreaks that may be difficult to recognize in the early stages. This is demonstrated in a large food-borne outbreak of streptococcal pharyngitis that occurred in 2003 in a factory in Israel. The outbreak was reported to the public health services on July 2 and an epidemiologic investigation was initiated. Cases and controls were interviewed and throat swabs taken. An estimated 212 cases occurred within the first 4 days, the peak occurring on the second day. There was a wave of secondary cases during an additional 11 days. The early signs were of a respiratory illness including sore throat, weakness and fever, with high absenteeism rates suggesting a respiratory illness. As part of a case-control study, cases and controls were interviewed and throat swabs taken. Illness was significantly associated with consumption of egg-mayonnaise salad (odds ratio 4.2, 95% confidence interval 1.4–12.6), suggesting an incubation period of 12–96 hours. The initial respiratory signs of food-borne streptococcal pharyngitis outbreaks could delay the identification of the vehicle of transmission. This could be particularly problematic in the event of deliberate contamination.

April 2005
Y. Chen, R. Colodner, B. Chazan and R. Raz
Background: Arcanobacterium haemolyticum is a well-recognized but uncommon cause of pharyngitis and skin rash in adolescents and young adults. To date no data regarding its frequency in Israel have been published.

Objective: To establish the frequency of A. haemolyticum in throat cultures in a northern Israeli population and to estimate the clinical significance of this pathogen in patients with sore throat.

Methods: We examined suspected colonies for A. haemolyticum by gram stain, catalase test and reverse CAMP test in 518 throat cultures sent to the microbiologic laboratory of HaEmek Medical Center.

Results: Of the throat cultures tested, A. haemolyticum was recovered from one patient (0.2%). In contrast, group A Streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes) was recovered from 135 patients (26%).

Conclusion: A. hemolyticum is an uncommon pathogen implicated in acute pharyngitis, therefore routine screening in throat swabs is not required.

June 2003
B. Chazan, M. Shaabi, R. Colodner and R. Raz

Background: Acute pharyngitis in children is one of the most frequent illnesses for which primary care physicians are consulted. It is caused more frequently by viruses than by bacteria, but it is difficult to differentiate the causative agent by clinical signs alone. Group A Streptococcus accounts for 30% of children with a sore throat, and only in these cases is antibiotic therapy definitely indicated. However, the frequency and symptomatology of streptococcal pharyngitis in adults is not well established.

Objectives: To examine the clinical features that could distinguish sore throat caused by b-hemolytic group A Streptococcus in adults.

Methods: Patients aged over 16 years old (n=207) who presented with a sore throat to community clinics were examined and throat cultures were taken. The microbiologic confirmation of Group A Streptococcus was correlated with symptoms and clinical signs by univariate analysis.

Results: About 24% of the patients with positive cultures were younger individuals. Chills, absence of cough, pain in swallowing, absence of rhinitis, headache, vomiting, tonsillar exudate, oral malodor, fever >38°C and sweats had high sensitivity but low specificity for streptococcal pharyngitis. Univariate analysis suggested that chills and pharyngeal exudate had the greatest predictive value for streptococcal pharyngitis (P = 0.044, odds ratio 2.45; P = 0.001, OR[1] 5.49, respectively). When compared with a published scoring method (Centor criteria), large inconsistencies were found.

Conclusion: Our adult population had a relatively high prevalence of group A Streptococcus, and their presentation differed from that of pediatric patients. In primary care, a throat swab culture is not necessary in adults with a low score (0–1 points).


OR = odds ratio

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