Diagnostics firm increases production of Strep A tests

Derby-based testing kit manufacturer SureScreen Diagnostics has moved swiftly to increase production of rapid result Strep A tests for children as cases of the infection continue to grow across the country.

The Derby-based company, which is also manufacturing the UK’s first approved lateral flow test for both COVID-19 and flu at the same time, believes its Strep A tests could play a key role in helping clinicians screen effectively for the infection.

Strep A – known as Group A Streptococcus (GAS) – is a bacterium 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, and which has so far claimed the lives of nine children in the UK this year.

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.

“The Strep 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.”