Overview of the etiology, epidemiology, clinic, diagnostics and treatment of acute tonsillitis

Ieva Karaliūtė1, Raimonda Putnaitė1, Gintarė Jonuškytė1

1Faculty of Medicine of the Medical Academy of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences


Acute tonsillitis is an is inflammation of the tonsils caused by virus or bacteria. Viral etiologies are the most common but bacteria such as streptococcus, especially group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus (GABHS) can be a frequent pathogen too. Sore throat, difficulty swallowing, fever, tonsillar exudates, cervical chain lymphadenopathy are the clinical features of acute tonsillitis. Acute tonsillitis is diagnosed by clinical signs. Throat culture and rapid streptococcal antigen diagnostic tests are the gold standard tests that may confirm the pathological agent of the disease. Paracetamol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and antibiotics for bacterial infection are used to treat acute tonsillitis. Inaccurate treatment of disease can lead to complications. In this article, we will review the etiology, epidemiology, clinic, diagnostics, treatment options and complications of acute tonsillitis.

Keywords: acute tonsillitis, group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus, rapid antigen streptococcus test, peritonsillar abscess.