Streptococcal infection is a rather common bacterial infection which typically affects the throat, to be more precise the pharynx and the tonsils. It may be acute and chronic. Chronic streptococcal infection of the tonsils may cause serious damage to these organs. Tonsils have important role in childhood. These lymphatic organs represent the first barrier against infection. However, in case of chronic inflammation the tissue of tonsils is seriously damaged, they lose their original function and may become the source of further chronic infection. People think that once they have had tonsillectomy they will no longer suffer from streptococcal infection of the throat. They are wrong since this bacterial infection may also develop even if there are no tonsils in the oral cavity.
Causes of Strept Throat
Streptococcal infection of the throat most frequently affects the children and teenagers. This infection is caused by Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus). These bacteria may represent the normal flora of the nasal and oral cavity and lead to no infection. Still, if there are favorable conditions the bacteria start to multiply rapidly and uncontrollably causing infection.
The bacteria multiply and the pus collects inside the tonsisls. They become enlarged and cause swallowing difficulty and pain in the throat. Fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes are accompanying symptoms of strept throat. In severe form of the disease even cervical lymph nodes may become enlarged. Physical examination of the affected tonsils reveals their enlargement and the presence of white or yellowish patches.
Strept Throat without Tonsils
Once the tonsils are surgically removed they are no longer potential source of the infection. Unfortunately, surgical resection of the tonsils does not mean that one is protected against strept throat infection for good. On contrary, even people who have undergone tonsillectomy may again develop strept throat infection. The only difference is that people without tonsils will suffer from symptoms and signs of isolated infection of the throat.
Tonsillectomy is good way of reducing recurrence of strept infection. The incidence of strept throat infection in people who have undergone tonsillectomy drastically reduces.
Symptoms and signs of strept throat infection without tonsils are very similar to those if the tonsils have not been removed. Infection is contagious and can be easily spread via secretions from the nose and moth. Definitive diagnosis can be set thanks to throat swab culture. If the results are positive the treatment is basically the same as in strept throat with tonsillitis. It includes antibiotics, gargling with warm salt water, and intake of plenty of fluids and lozenges which may help with pain relief.