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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: Strep A Screen, Rapid Ag

Test Code(s): RAPD

CPT Code(s): 87880

Methodology: Immunoassay

Clinical Significance: Rapid screening for Group A Streptococci from throat swabs.  Culture confirmation of a negative rapid strep test is recommended on pediatric patients. Order Strep A Screen, Rapid Ag, Culture if Neg [RAPDSC] instead.

Days Performed: Daily, 24 hours.

Turnaround Time: Stat: 1 hour.
Routine: 4 hours.

Specimen Requirements

Specimen: Pharyngeal swab

Collection Instructions: Use standard specimen collection techniques.  

Culture swabs can be obtained from UWHC Central Supply.

Collection Container: Preferred: CultureSwab®

Specimen Transport: Store swab in tightly capped tube. Transport to UWHC Core Laboratory (B4/220).

Unacceptable Criteria: Frozen swabs, swabs with calcium alginate or cotton tips or wooden shafts, and specimens greater than 72 hours post collection are not acceptable.

Stability: Ambient: 8 hours
Refrigerated: 3 days
Frozen: Not acceptable


This is a screening test only. A negative result may indicate either that the specimen obtained was negative for the presence of Group A Streptococci or that the amount of antigen extracted from the specimen is less than the analytical sensitivity of the test. The result should be interpreted in conjunction with clinical and other data available to the clinician.

Additional Information:

Culture confirmation of a negative rapid strep test is recommended on pediatric patients. The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) practice guidelines (2012) state that, because of the reduced sensitivity of rapid antigen tests and the importance of accurate detection, predominantly for prevention of rheumatic heart disease, culture confirmation of negative rapid antigen tests is recommended for pediatric patients.

Strep A Antigen (Rapid Test)
Rapid Strep Screen

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