New USC clinical trial for rapid test for Strep

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New USC clinical trial for rapid test for Strep


Dr Glen Mulhall taking a swab from a young patient

30 June 2017

The USC Clinical Trials Centre is working with Eclipse Medical at Maroochydore to assess the use of a new device for the rapid detection of a bacteria that commonly causes sore throats in children.

The Streptococcus bacteria can cause an infection known as Strep A, which primarily results in acute upper respiratory infection in school-aged children aged between five and 15 years. Adults can also be affected. Antibiotics are the standard treatment.

USC Clinical Trials Centre Director Lucas Litewka said the new study would assess the use of a rapid-test device manufactured by ellume-lab with the aim of providing accurate, real-time testing for patients in the convenience of their doctors’ offices.

Mr Litewka said it was hoped the device would provide results within 10 minutes to enable earlier diagnosis and treatment to reduce the severity of symptoms and complications.

Principal Investigator Dr Glen Mulhall, of Eclipse Medical, said he was pleased to be involved in the innovative trial in partnership with USC, general practice clinicians and ellume-lab, to promote the early diagnosis of the treatable infectious illness.

Dr Mulhall said a multitude of viruses could also cause a sore throat and upper respiratory tract symptoms.

“With an emphasis on the reduction of antibiotic use in general practice, it is exciting to be trialling a point-of-care product that may assist clinicians in determining a bacterial infection from a viral infection,” he said.

“If this can be demonstrated to patients, their clinicians can focus on appropriate care and reduce the antibiotic burden for individual patients and the community.”

Potential participants over the age of three years who have experienced rapid onset of a sore throat and fever within five days are sought to take part in the trial. Criteria apply. Each participant will be asked to provide two throat swabs and a tongue swab.

The trial is a multi-centre study underway at six sites across Australia including the USC Clinical Trials Centre as the lead site.

Interested people can go to or call 07 5456 3797.

Clinical trials are medical research studies aimed at finding new or better ways to treat and manage health conditions and illnesses. The USC Centre started operating in 2016.

— Julie Schomberg

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