Scientists have developed a non-invasive mass spectrometry-based diagnostic technique that can diagnose strep throat in less than 10 seconds.
Almost all of us will experience a sore throat at some point in our lives, and a number of these sore throats (~30%) will be caused by infections with Streptococci bacteria. Streptococcal pharyngitis, which is usually caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, is commonly known as ‘strep throat’ and can be treated with antibiotics if successfully diagnosed. Although the vast majority of strep throat cases resolve themselves within a few days, Streptococcal infections can lead to serious complications, such an inflammatory disease called rheumatic fever that can result in heart failure and even death. Children and the elderly are particularly susceptible to complications, so for these individuals, the rapid diagnosis and treatment of strep throat can be life-saving.
Read the original journal article in Analyst – it’s free to access until 12th September:
Detection of strep throat causing bacterium directly from medical swabs by touch spray – mass spectrometry
Alan K Jarmusch, Valentina Pirro, Kevin S Kerian and R. Graham Cooks
Analyst, 2014, Accepted Manuscript, DOI: 10.1039/C4AN00959B