Strep Throat Test


Strep throat is a contagious infection of the throat and tonsils caused by the streptococcus bacteria. It can make your throat feel painful and scratchy. Strep throat can be treated with antibiotics. But first, you need a medical test to make sure your sore throat is being caused by the bacteria.

Rapid Antigen Test

The test is simple and painless. A swab with a long handle is used. You open your mouth, and the swab is rubbed on your throat and tonsils. For some people, this can cause brief gagging.

Testing the Swab

The swab is taken to the lab, and any bacteria on the swab are allowed to grow. This is called a throat "culture." Within a few days, the culture will show if the swab collected strep from your throat. For a faster result, a swab with a rapid antigen test can be used. It can show results within a few minutes, but it is not as accurate as a culture. It may miss some strep infections.