Opportunities - Point-of-Care Testing for Group A Strep in Primary Care Settings

Point-of-Care Testing for Group A Strep in Primary Care Settings

University of Calgary & Alberta Health Services



Pharyngitis (or sore throat) is a common condition and contributes to a large number of family doctor visits. Group A Streptococcus (GAS) bacteria causes between 5-20% of sore throats in adults and 15-30% of sore throats in children.

Currently, a throat swab is taken by a family doctor to test for strep. Lab results can take up to 24 to 72 hours to come back and this can delay the time that a family doctor is able to provide a prescription for antibiotics. Sometimes, a prescription is provided before lab results confirm that strep is present and this can lead to inappropriate antibiotic use.


A new, reliable, Health Canada-approved test for strep has been developed that can be performed quickly, during a patient visit to a family doctor’s office, called point-of-care testing.  Point-of-care testing (POCT) may help to reduce the time that patients have to wait for the lab test and may also reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions.


This study aims to assess whether a new POCT (point-of-care test) for strep throat can help to reduce the time it takes to start an appropriate antibiotic prescription. It also aims to test whether patients who receive the POCT (point-of-care test) have a shorter duration of symptoms (like sore throat), have fewer clinic visits, and have less time away from school or work.


With your support and valuable expertise, we can help avoid delays and aim to improve appropriate antibiotic use in strep throat!


Roles and Responsibilities

The southern Alberta research team is looking for a volunteer adult patient or caregiver from Calgary, or surrounding area, with experience with sore or strep throat. This could include a parent whose child or children have had strep throat or who have made visits to their family doctor or urgent care for sore throats.


We are currently developing a funding application for the project and would like to collaborate with a patient/caregiver to include their perspective in the design of the study about questions such as: What is the best way to ask patients in a clinic about participating in this study? and What should we be measuring?


Participation can be via teleconference or an in-person meeting.


Time Commitment

The application planning phase will take 1 month, ending September 2019. We expect to have 1-2 team teleconferences (1 hour each) to finalize this application by end of September 2019.

If this application isn’t successful, we will submit to a different funding organization, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, in Spring 2019. This will require 1-2 team teleconferences (1 hour each) between approximately October 2019 and March 2020. The project itself will run for 1 year.



Contributing to the team teleconference(s) will be voluntary at the initial stage of developing the project and funding application.


If the funding application is successful, we would continue working with patient partners via teleconference and/or in-person meetings. Reimbursement for all travel and parking expenses associated with participating in the project would be provided at this point, as well as an honorarium to recognize and appreciate the patient partner contribution to the project.


Contact Information

Interested in sharing your experience with us? Please connect with:


Stephanie Garies