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Rapid Strep Test

A simple sore throat can sometimes be difficult to deal with, but knowing the potential cause can help narrow down potential treatments or cures.  While the most common cause of a sore throat is due to a virus, anywhere from 15% up to 40% of sore throat cases can be due to a bacteria called Streptococcus: commonly known as “strep”.  This type of infection is known as strep throat.

There are numerous types of the Streptococcus bacteria, and each type can cause a wide range of symptoms throughout the body; but the most common type for infections in the throat is Streptococcus Group A (Strep A).

While a throat culture is traditionally the better test to grow and identify the responsible bacteria in a sore throat, it can usually take at least 24-48 hours for results.  A rapid strep test, on the other hand, looks for antigens (surface proteins) unique to the Strep A bacteria.  This test can provide a result in approximately 10 minutes and serve as a quick and effective way to identify or rule out this type of infection.  Quicker identification can help your provider provide a more effective and targeted treatment.

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Test Details

Rapid GAS (Group A Strep) identification uses a specialized technology to quickly identify the antigens unique to Streptococcus A bacteria.  Any positive and/or negative test should be evaluated by your doctor or healthcare provider together with a clinical evaluation of symptoms and history.

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FAQs

WHAT IS AN ANTIGEN TEST?

By using a specialized filter with antibodies that target a variety of antigens unique to the Streptococcus A bacteria, a small sample is filtered through this specialized antibody mixture.  If antigen is present, the antibodies will bind to them and create a positive response which can then be read/identified.

WHY DO I NEED THIS TEST?

If you have been suffering from a sore throat, and have any of the following symptoms, you could have strep throat:

  • A sudden and severe sore throat
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing
  • Fever of 101° or more
  • Tender or swollen lymph nodes (glands at the front of the neck)
  • Tiny, red spots on the roof of your mouth
WHAT TYPE OF SPECIMEN WILL BE COLLECTED FOR THIS TEST?

This test requires a simple swab of the back of the throat.

AM I REQUIRED TO FAST FOR THIS LAB TEST?

No, fasting is not required. There are no dietary or medicinal restrictions to take this test.

IS A DOCTOR’S ORDER REQUIRED?

Any Lab Test Now’s ordering physician will provide the required physician’s order on your behalf.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET MY LAB TEST RESULTS?

Results from a rapid strep test are usually available within 10-15 minutes.

IS THIS TEST APPROVED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA)?

Yes, this test has been approved by the FDA for use under the CLIA Certificate of Waiver.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF I HAVE A POSITIVE TEST RESULT?

If you have a positive result for this test, it means that the unique and identifying antigens (surface proteins) of Group A Streptococcus bacteria have been identified.  This information, together with a clinical correlation of symptoms and history, can help your healthcare provider give a more appropriate treatment plan.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF I HAVE A NEGATIVE TEST RESULT?

If you have a negative result, it means that no antigens for Group A Streptococcus were found or identified.

WHAT IF I WANT TO DISCUSS THE RESULTS WITH A PHYSICIAN?

You can share your results with your healthcare provider or contact our telemedicine partner, DialCare, and they will assist you in interpreting the results. Any Lab Test Now does not diagnose or interpret results.