Posted: March 15, 2014
The Limitation of Point of Care Strep A Test Kits
Streptococcus A (“Strep A” or GAS) infections are associated with scarlet fever, necrotizing fasciitis, and “strep throat”. There are many different strains of microorganism within the Strep A group, but only a few are virulent and linked to serious human disease. These strains can be identified in the laboratory by PCR in a matter of ‘x’ days; however, the rapid point of care test (POC) kits that are currently available can only establish the presence of Strep A: no distinction can be made between virulent and non-virulent strains of Strep A. This results in the unnecessary treatment of patients with antibiotics.
Aptamers Can Identify Individual Strep A Strains
Dr. Chris Le’s group at the University of Alberta recently discovered aptamers that specifically bind the individual strains of Strep A.1 This discovery opens up the possibility of developing new test kits that can rapidly determine if an infection is caused by a virulent strain of Strep A at the point of care. This would facilitate the management of infections in both hospital and community settings.
1 Hamula, CLA; Le, XC, Li, XF: Anal. Chem. 2011, 83(10): 3640-3646. DOI: 10.1021/ac200575e
- Lab based screening for virulent strains of Strep A in hospitals or research institutions.
- POC diagnostics for virulent strains of Strep A in hospitals or general medical practices.
Technology Management Group
TEC Edmonton – University of Alberta