A sore throat in persons aged 15 to 30 years who test negative for strep may indicate a serious infection with Fusobacterium necrophorum, according to findings of a study published in the February 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

In this age group, F necrophorum pharyngitis was more common than group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal (GAS) pharyngitis. Morbidity and mortality may be higher because of complications of peritonsillar abscess and potentially fatal internal jugular thrombophlebitis.