Rapid Strep Test is used in point of care testing to qualitatively detect Strep A antigen from throat swab specimens to aid in the diagnosis of Group A Streptococcal infection. Strep A infections are origin from group A streptococcal bacterium that could initiate a variety of health problems. Nearly everyone is familiar with strep throat, which is the most common form of the disease in many homes. Health experts estimate that more than 10 million mild infections (throat and skin) like these occur every year.
Sore throat may be caused by a viral illness, which is important to distinguish so doctors do not use antibiotics to treat them. There are several different viruses that can lead to the common cold and possibly upper respiratory infection. A sore throat caused by a virus resolves on its own with at-home care. Different from a viral sore throat is a streptococcal infection (strep throat), a less common type of sore throat caused by bacteria. It requires additional treatment with antibiotic drugs to prevent complications. It is important to use a rapid strep test to identify strep throat for a number of reasons. If untreated, strep throat can sometimes cause complications such as kidney inflammation and rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever can lead to painful and inflamed joints, a rash and even damage to heart valves.
When a Rapid strep throat test is performed it will determine whether a patient’s sore throat is viral or bacterial. Every year 15 million Americans see the doctor for sore throat and 70 percent of them get antibiotics to treat it, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America. When a Rapid Strep A Test shows a negative result for bacterial infection, it reduces “unnecessary” antibiotics prescriptions written by physicians. The infection may be caused by a viral infection and viruses do not respond to antibiotics. Researchers analyzed over 70,000 results from patients under 15 years old with sore throat that where performed rapid strep test and only 24% where positive for group A streptococcus pharyngitis. When a at home strep test is performed can potentially eliminate the need for doctor’s visits.