Chilton Medical Center - ATLANTIC HEALTH SYSTEM
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+)  font size
PrintEmail
Search Health Information   

Throat anatomy
Throat anatomy


Throat swabs
Throat swabs


Streptococcal screen

Definition:

A streptococcal screen is a test to detect group A streptococcus, the most common cause of strep throat .



Alternative Names:

Rapid strep test



How the Test is Performed:

The test requires a throat swab. The swab is tested to identify group A streptococcus, the cause of strep throat. It takes about 7 minutes to get the results.



How to Prepare for the Test:

There is no special preparation. Tell your doctor if you are taking, or have recently taken antibiotics.



How the Test will Feel:

The back of your throat will be swabbed in the area of the tonsils. This may make you gag.



Why the Test is Performed:

Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of strep throat, which include:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Tender and swollen glandsĀ at the front of your neck
  • White or yellow spots on your tonsils


Normal Results:

A negative strep screen most often means Group A streptococcus is not present. It is unlikely that you have strep throat.

If your doctor still thinks that you may have strep throat, a throat culture will be done.



What Abnormal Results Mean:

A positive strep screen most often means Group A streptococcus is present, and confirms that you have strep throat.

Sometimes, the test may be positive, even if you do not have strep. This is called a false-positive result and is more likely if you have a fever or other symptoms of strep throat.



Risks:

There are no risks.



Considerations:

This test screens for the group A streptococcus bacteria only and will not detect other causes of sore throat.



References:

Nussenbaum B, Bradford CR. Pharyngitis in adults. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund LJ, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2010:chap 13.

Weber R. Pharyngitis. In: Bope ET, Kellerman RD, eds. Conn's Current Therapy 2012. 1st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 1.

Wessels MR. Clinical practice. Streptococcal pharyngitis. N Engl J Med. 2011;364(7):648-655.




Review Date: 5/12/2014
Reviewed By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


Morristown Medical Center
100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Overlook Medical Center
99 Beauvoir Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901
908-522-2000

Newton Medical Center
175 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860
973-383-2121

Chilton Medical Center
97 West Parkway
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
973-831-5000

Goryeb Children's Hospital
100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Atlantic Medical Group
1-800-247-9580

Morristown Medical Center

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Overlook Medical Center

99 Beauvoir Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901
908-522-2000

Newton Medical Center

175 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860
973-383-2121

Chilton Medical Center

97 West Parkway
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
973-831-5000

Goryeb Children's Hospital

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Affiliated Providers

Atlantic Medical Group

More than 600 community-based health care providers.
1-800-247-9580

© 2015 Chilton Medical Center, 97 West Parkway, Pompton Plains, New Jersey 1-973-831-5000