Latest News | 14 December 2022

Diagnostics firm ups production of Strep A tests

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SureScreen Diagnostics has announced it has increased production of rapid result lateral flow tests designed to detect the presence of Strep A in children as cases of the infection continue to grow across the country.

The diagnostics firm said the increase in production was part of its preparations for winter, which experts fear will see a spike in the incidence of traditional seasonal conditions such as colds and flu because of reduced social contact over the past two years.

The Derby firm, which is also manufacturing the UK’s first approved lateral flow test for both Covid-19 and flu at the same time, believes the Step A tests, which give a result in a matter of minutes, could be a key tool in helping clinicians screen effectively and help to reduce anxiety among parents fearing their child has picked up the infection.

David Campbell, a director at SureScreen said: “We have been manufacturing Strep A lateral flow tests for many years and we are seeing an increase in demand for them this year following concerns about the prevalence in the community.

“We are working with hospitals and clinics to implement cost effective, accurate and quick screening by the patient side to help take pressure off healthcare systems.”

Strep A – known as Group A Streptococcus (GAS) – is a bacterium which is found in the throat and on the skin and which can cause fever and throat infections, with symptoms including pain when swallowing, skin rashes and swollen tonsils and glands.

Although the symptoms are usually relatively mild, in some cases it can develop into an invasive group A streptococcal infection, which can be fatal.

Health experts fear that more lives could be at risk due to an increase in reported cases of Strep A, which is why parents who detect the key symptoms with their children should seek medical advice by visiting their doctor.

The SureScreen lateral flow test, which uses a swab to take a sample from the back of the throat, can return a result in six minutes, with an accuracy rate of 97% and are expected to be snapped up by private clinic and hospitals.

Mr Campbell said: “The Step A tests are another example of where our technology can help play a crucial role in healthcare screening.

“We hope that our test can be utilised more widely to help doctors target the right treatments more effectively to the right people.”

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