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Rapid Strep Test

A rapid strep test is a rapid (in clinic) antigen detection test that used to detect the presence of bacterial pharyngitis caused by group A streptococci OR strep throat. There are many manufacturers of strep test kits but nearly all involve swabbing of the throat and performing a test on the swab.

The actual test takes about 1-2 minutes to collect and an additional 5-15 minutes or so to process. Typically, reliable if performed correctly, some physicians may choose to also collect a throat culture if the initial rapid test is negative, but signs and symptoms indicate infection.

Recently, many urgent care centers have begun offering molecular testing for Group A Strep. While the collection is similar, the time required to process the sample is slightly longer than the rapid test (about 25 minutes) – BUT- the result is more definitive and do not require additional testing should a negative occur.

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