Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


College of Nursing


Nursing Practice

First Advisor

JoAnne Herman


Group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal (GABHS) tonsillopharyngitis, also known as strep throat, has been a diagnosis of significant worldwide public health concern for decades. Serious post-infectious complications associated with untreated GABHS tonsillopharyngitis propel prompt diagnosis and antibiotic therapy to eradicate the organism.

For over 50 years, penicillin antibiotics have been the preferred standard for treatment of GABHS tonsillopharyngitis. However, in recent decades, research reports indicated an increase in treatment failures associated with penicillin therapy. Reports of treatment failures with penicillin led researchers to investigate alternative antibiotics that could be used as a first-line treatment option. Cephalosporins emerged as a possible alternative.

The purpose of this project was to analyze current evidence and compare the bacteriologic efficacy of cephalosporins and penicillins for treatment of GABHS tonsillopharyngitis. A substantial amount of evidence that spanned almost 40 years was analyzed. Major deficits within the research prevented development of clear conclusions. The analysis resulted in the development of an algorithm that can assist clinicians with selection of penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics as appropriate for individual patients.


© 2009, Jada Caldwell Quinn