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Streptococcal Antigen Test for Pneumonia Detection: A review of Clinical- and Cost-Effectiveness and Guidelines

Last updated: November 13, 2015
Project Number: RC0726-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Other Diagnostics
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report

Question

  1. What is the clinical effectiveness of the streptococcal antigen test for the detection of pneumonia in pediatric and adult patients?
  2. What is the cost-effectiveness of the streptococcal antigen test for the detection of pneumonia in pediatric and adult patients?
  3. What are the evidence-based guidelines associated with the use of the streptococcal antigen test for the detection of pneumonia in pediatric and adult patients?

Key Message

Streptococcal antigen testing was found to be both sensitive and highly specific under most conditions, though evidence was found that demonstrated high variability depending on the serotype that was encountered. The cost savings as a result of its use are heterogeneous in nature and more powerful investigation is required to form reliable conclusions. Evidence-based guidelines indicate that it is not appropriate for use in children due to high false-positives, and they further stated that its use in adults should be limited to admitted patients with moderate to high disease severity.