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Avatar universal

recurring strep throat in our family

In the last 3 months, my daughter has had strep throat 4 times, and I have had it 3 times, all 7 cases confirmed by positive throat cultures.  My daughter has taken penicilin the first 3 times, then the fourth time both Clindamycin and Rifampin (the latter given the last 4 days of the former).  Our entire family of 4 was tested to see if any of us are carriers, with negative results.  My tonsils were removed as a child, yet there is talk of removing my daughters (seems pointless to me).  None of the doctors we've seen have any other ideas.  I'm thinking of giving us both Colloidal Silver.  We take vitamins, probiotics & adicophilus, we never share drinks, we've changed the toothbrushes every time (sometimes twice), we wash our hands often, and we are both otherwise healthy (no known allergies).  We've never been aware of being exosed to anyone else with strep.  I fear the bad effects of all the antibiotics, and we're just sick of being sick!  Please help!
17 Responses
251132 tn?1198078822
There are several possibilities.  Despite the lack of evidence, you could have a partially resistant variety of Strep type A.  Even though you are feeling better after taking the antibiotics, the infection is never completely clearing.  The fact that you and your daughter have had a total of 7 episodes strongly suggests that you may be re-infecting each other.  The cultures for carrier status may not have been appropriately timed to detect the strep.  Also it
Avatar universal
I am assuming that, by "positive" strep cultures, you're referring to cultures reported as having Group A beta strep (some labs report it by the genus/species Streptococcus pyogenes). Some labs report "beta strep not group A" on their strep screens. There are other beta streptococci, especially group C, that can cause a nasty throat, but do not produce the sequelae of rheumatic fever/glomerulonephritis.

Pets can carry strep. Try culturing your dog if you have one. Your vet can do this for you.


Does anyone have impetigo? Check out this site:


This is an excellent article:


"Children with untreated acute infections spread organisms by airborne salivary droplet and nasal discharge. The incubation period for pharyngitis is 2-5 days. Children are usually not infectious within 24 hours after appropriate antibiotic therapy has been started, an observation that has important implications for return to the daycare or school environment. Individuals who are streptococcal carriers (chronic asymptomatic pharyngeal and nasopharyngeal colonization) are not usually at risk of spreading disease to others because of the generally small reservoir of often-avirulent organisms. Fingernails and the perianal region can harbor streptococci and play a role in disseminating impetigo. Multiple streptococcal infections in the same family are common. Both impetigo and pharyngitis are more likely to occur among children living in crowded homes and in poor hygienic conditions."

Pay particular attention to your child's hygiene - handwashing and bathroom hygiene. Perhaps this may be playing a role. Fingernails should be short and clean. Kids are just not very attentive with this stuff, especially at early school age, so parents have to make sure. My daughter used to just wet her toothbrush and tell me she brushed her teeth when she was in second or third grade. She's 25 now and has no idea why she did this back then; she just did.

The sequelae of untreated Group A beta strep are acute rheumatic fever and acute glomerulonephritis, so you can't NOT treat this organism.

From the same article - an interesting paragraph:

"Sometimes families express concern regarding the delay of 24-48 hours that is required to obtain a result of throat culture. Clinicians therefore feel pressure to initiate therapy immediately, prior to obtaining the result of the culture. However, because treatment of group A streptococcal sore throat as long as 9 days after onset of symptoms still effectively prevents rheumatic fever, initiation of antibiotics is seldom of urgent importance. Early antibiotic therapy may have beneficial effects in relieving symptoms and allowing an earlier return to school or daycare; however, early antibiotic therapy may have disadvantages as well. Several controlled studies have shown that children receiving immediate antibiotic therapy are more likely to have symptomatic recurrences in the months following treatment than are children who delay the initiation of therapy by 48 hours."

Hope this gives you some ideas.

Avatar universal
Thanks for you comments.  We have no pets, in fact avoid pets because my son is allergic.  No impetigo.  We're so careful about hygeine at this point we're headed toward OCD.  We changed milks (to organic).  Can strep be in our water filter or hiding in some other unsuspected place in our home?  There is such a huge difference in our recovery between the times we get on Penicillin immediately and when we have to wait 24 hours for a culture result that I push for the former.  But in light of the article you sent, should we wait (and suffer much longer) a day or two to prevent recurrence?  I so appreciate your time and help.
Avatar universal
I have no idea about the water filter. You could try bottled water for awhile and see.

I can't really comment on waiting a couple of days as I'm NOT a doctor. I only pointed out the article as I thought it was interesting.

What does your pediatrician say about all of this?
Avatar universal
We have the same problem. My two older boys have had strep 3 times and I have had it 3 times as well.  I had my Ducts cleaned and am going to an allergist before we have the surgery.  I am stressed about it...Are there alternatives?

Avatar universal
We're now on a total of 3 streps (in just over 3 months), my daughter had her fifth last week.  We have had negative cultures in between, and we know we're not (not always at least) just passing it back and forth since we go longer than the incubation period between episodes.  There is an alternative cure called colloidal silver that my herbalist friend recommends I try next time.  There is also something online that is a vapor you breathe and says it cures strep.  Does anyone know about these?  My pediatrician is out of answers, just wants to do a tonsilectomy on my daughter.  I don't.
Avatar universal

This is a page from www.quackwatch.com on Colloidal silver. Please read this and then decide if you want to take this very dubious substance.

If you believe that the vapor kills strep I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'll sell you cheap.....

I'm a clinical microbiologist with nearly 30 years experience. Strep cultures are not 100% capable of recovering the strep. Rapid tests are not 100% accurate. Have you been growing Group A beta strep or another group like Group C? Group A is the one that can have lasting consequences such as rheumatic fever and kidney side effects, but other streps can also cause sore throats, particularly group C.

Labs differ in the ways that they culture strep screens. Some methods are better than others. Just because you had a negative culture doesn't necessarily mean that you didn't have it - there's always sampling error (did you gag real good when they took the specimen?). If the organism was there in really low numbers the swab may not have picked it up. A combination of rapid strep testing and culturing of negative rapid tests is the best way to cover all your bases. If you're only having rapid testing done, without a culture backup (actually having a lab plate the swab on an agar plate and looking for the beta strep), this can miss other groups of strep, as the rapid test only picks up Group A.

Hope this helps.

Avatar universal
I have also had recurring strep,but mine has been strep B.  For the past year, I have been to the ER 3 times, and I have spit up every kind of mucous imaginable.  A lot of times allergies can cause these infections bc of the weakening of the imune sytem.  I got tested and found this to be true, BUT then went to my ENT for the 4th time this time bringing him what are known as tonsilliths (small round cottage cheese looking balls that can vary from white to greenish, yellowish, brown.  They are also incredibly foul smelling when smelt.  After being constantly sick for a year, having at least 7 throat infections, and finally taking a culture the 8th or 9th time I was on antibotic during the year, cryptic tonsils were diagnosed.  The diagnosis FINALLY came after I brought in the tonsilliths in a ziploc, which then caused him to take a closer look at my tonsils.  When he took them out yesterday, he said they were some of the worst he has ever seen, and he also said that I didn't show regular symptoms that would usually denote this problem.  I'd definitely get your tonsils checked. The last time I had strep I must have carried it for about a month then I took 1500mg of penicillin for 10 days which didn't rid it, then omniceph for 7 days up until my surgery.  It is an extemely painful surgery for adults, but he said when he took them out, it was very clear to him that they were infectuous and any antibotic would only make me feel better for a time and then come back.  You should check out an internet site on tonsils.  One of the main reasons for getting them removed is because of 5 or more infections a year.  Look into it.  I've talked to several that have had this done, and they ALL say it solved their strep problems completely.
Avatar universal
My friend's family of 5 had recurring strep throat last year. They passed it back and forth between them, and it was months before they figured out what was causing the re-infections. It turned out to be the toothpaste that they all shared! Touching the tube to their toothbrushes passed the germs on.
Avatar universal
I'm back, and now my daughter has had 6 confirmed streps in 4 months.  When throat culture #7 came back negative, I was sure it was false because she had all the same symptoms.  But when #8 came back negative, I believe the doctors who tell me it's a virus.  In fact this virus has looked different than strep, but has lasted nearly three weeks, which means she has been sick for practically all of the last 5 weeks (after 6 streps, mind you).  This time she's had nausea (vomiting on only 2 days), stomach cramps, headaches, some low fever, and worst of all vertigo.  She's fallen several times in the house and especially out of bed while sleeping.  It's not terribly severe, but she sometimes holds furniture when she walks.

The four months preceding the streps she had non-stop headaches that were labeled as childhood migraines (I don't think I agree, though). She woke up with one every day and went to bed with one every day.   She was on high doses of Advil and also on Beta-lockers.  

So, that means 4 months of very troublesome headache, which overlapped with 6 streps, and now most of 5 weeks of a bad virus.  I can't help but think these three mysteries are connected somehow.  Doctors say it can't be an immune system problem, but I can't help but think we should check that out.  They repeatedly tell me "it's just strep throat," and now "it's just another virus."  How can one kid be sick so often?  She is very upset about it, and it's beginning to become her identity.  She's missed a lot of classes, and if I didn't homeschool her she would have missed nearly all of this school year so far.  I can't help but think she has some rare disease that will finally be diagnosed a year from now.  I want some answers!!!!!!!  Please help.
Avatar universal
I vebeen using colloidal silver for over 6 years for my wife with Lupus,my son since ghe was 11 years old and now our 13 month old daughter.what do I have to say about it? GREAT STUFF!
Do your homework and research it and find a good company like I did and try it yourself. Even my son's pediatrician knows about it and gave it praise!
If you need links toread up on it email me at,***@****

and oh yeah,that quackwatch **** is ****!!!!!!!!
FDA and FTC are a bunch of drug dealers!

research this,
Cancer,body is in a state of acidois.Cancer can not survive in a alkaline body. Use alkaline drops to bring your body's ph levels up to start.

Lupus, a miscommuication between cells. I have my wife on alkaline drops and  something called," D-mannose. its a sugar that is on your blood cells to help them communicate better.
for more info on this search,Glyconutrients.

Ph levels and disease go hand and hand.

People I am not a doctor but a loving father and husband who refuses to put his family lives totally in the doctors hands. DO your research!

God Bless!
Avatar universal
Wow, I feel like I have just waled into a mirror image of my own house.  My 8 year old daughter has been fighting strep throat for 3 years.  I can honestly tell you that it hasn't gotten any better.  They took her tonsiles out when she was in Kindergarten and is now in 3rd greade.  She was diagnosed with strep 5 times from Nov to Feb last year.  Again she has been diagnosed with strep except for one thing has changed.  She now has Scarlet fever.  She is back on antibiotics and bed rest.  She is so used to being sick now she ust deals with it and goes on.  She also has had Influenza A last year and B the year before that.  And yes she has had her flu shots and immunizations are up to date.  I am doing as much internet research as I can because I am tired if hearing "she'll grow out of it."  She has spent a week in the hospital every einter for the past two years.  Hopefully not again this year.  I am just looking around to different web sites when I found this one and figured I might as well share the story.
Avatar universal
I just read Worriedmom's post - similiar thing in our house. Our 7 year old daughter has been fighting strep throat for 2 years now. Last winter was the worst - she had it 6 times from Christmas to March 7th - basically could NOT get rid of it and was on 3 different antibotics to try to lick it. The ENT specialist recommended her tonsils (which were enormous) to come out in order for her to get healthy.  Since her surgery 3/7/05 - she has been very healthy (actually put on some weight on her petite body).....until this past weekend.  Since had a 103 temp and terrible headaches for 5 days. The doctor put her on Amoxicillian, which didn't work and switched her to Augmentin which finally started making her feel better. I thought that you couldn't get strep throat once you had your tonsils out - I obviously thought wrong. I'm very concerned about our daughter and want to be proactive with coping with this.  At what point should our family be tested to see if we are carriers?
Avatar universal
A related discussion, strep throat was started.
Avatar universal
A related discussion, can i  order a antibiotic on line was started.
Avatar universal
Not sure how old your daughter is, but my almost 3-year-old puts lots of things in his mouth (pens, pencils, harmonica, coins) and it was recommended we clean those as well as all our doorknobs and light switches.  I know you don't have pets, but after we all tested negative as carriers, I finally begged the vet to swab our dog's throat and she tested positive for Group B strep!  Our Pediatrician is now doing more thorough overnight screens and my son's strep finally cleared up on Omnicef.  Might be worthwhile to determine if any other strains are present for your family as well.  Good luck!
Avatar universal
I am guessing your alkaline drops are doing nothing.  Body Ph is tightly regulated at 7.4.  To deviate would cause severe respiratory problems such as hypoventilation if you went alkaline.  I think you are confused by cancer as only the center, hypoxic regions of a tumor are acidotic.  Fortunately you are probably not actually changing you Ph and you kidneys are able to compensate.  Be careful!  
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