• Question: Is there any benefit in doing a throat swab in cases of tonsillitis and if antibiotics are started but the culture is negative should the course be stopped or is it best to always complete the course? Linked to this, do we have any better tools that the Centor criteria for identifying bacterial tonsillitis?

    Asked by drrees to Thamarai, Rose, Paul, Michael, Martin, , , Jeroen, Elizabeth, Cliodna, Chris, Andrew, Alastair, Adam on 24 Nov 2015.
    • Photo: Elizabeth Beech

      Elizabeth Beech answered on 24 Nov 2015:


      We have FeverPain algorithm that is being adopted into use to replace Centor criteria. Michael Moore is the best expert to reply to this question.

    • Photo: Cliodna McNulty

      Cliodna McNulty answered on 11 Nov 2016:


      I would consider a throat swab more in recurrent tonsillitis.
      FeverPAIN score is better than Centor for targeting antibiotics. If severe symptoms and a score of 4 give immediate antibiotics – this will be about 17% of those presenting with sore throats.
      Google PHE antibiotic guidance or FeverPAIN for more Details

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