Rapid Strep Tests: Procedure and Accuracy

Rapid strep tests are diagnostic tests used to quickly detect the presence of group A streptococcus bacteria in the throat, causing strep throat.
Diagnostic test
Where to get
Available at clinics and medical facilities for immediate testing.
Prepared by Shruti Sahoo, reviewed by Dr. Eugene Smith

Rapid Strep Tests FAQ

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What is a rapid strep test?

The rapid strep test ( RST) is a rapid antigen detection test (RADT) that is widely used in clinics to assist in the diagnosis of bacterial pharyngitis caused by group A streptococci (GAS), sometimes termed strep throat. There are currently several types of rapid strep test in use, each employing a distinct technology.

Can a rapid strep test detect a bacterial infection?

A rapid strep test can only detect the presence of Group A strep, the one most likely to cause serious throat infections; it does not detect other kinds of strep or other bacteria. How do I prepare for the test? No preparation is necessary. What happens when the test is performed?

How reliable is a rapid strep test?

The rapid strep screen is fairly reliable, but antibiotics and antiseptic mouthwash can affect the test results. Tell your doctor if you’re taking antibiotics. The rapid screen strep kit takes about 10 minutes to process. If the test is positive, you have group A Streptococcus in your throat and you probably have an infection.

Rapid Strep Tests References

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