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Test Code M29 Rapid Strep Antigen Test

Important Note

A negative result may be obtained if the specimen is inadequate or antigen concentration is below the sensitivity of the test. It is recommended that all negative Rapid Strep Antigen Test results undergo confirmatory testing using a culture method.

If a culture is required for a negative Rapid Strep Antigen Test, please indicate this in the comment section of the order and send two swabs.

Additional Codes


PowerChart: Streptococcus A Screen Rapid

MA Cerner: Rapid Strep-A

Specimen Requirement

Throat swab is required. Rayon and Polyester swabs are acceptable.

Additional Specimen Collection Information

Collection Instructions:

  1. Instruct patient to lie or sit with head tilted back, then open mouth, stick out tongue and breathe deeply through mouth during procedure.
  2. Direct maximum lighting toward the back of the throat.
  3. Using a tongue blade, depress tongue and vigorously swab the tonsillar and posterior pharynx areas that are inflamed, purulent or ulcerated using a sterile rayon swab.
  4. Repeat the procedure with a second sterile rayon swab if a 24 hr culture may also be requested.
  5. Remove swabs without touching any other parts of the mouth and return swab to the paper wrapper.
  6. Label the paper wrapper with patient name and two identifiers (patient ID number, DOB, etc.) [including source, date and time of collection].
  7. Transport the specimen to the laboratory immediately.
  8. The swabs may remain dry and at room temperature for up to 24 hours prior to testing or culture set up. The swabs may be stored for up to 72 hours before tesing, refrigerated at 2-8 C.

Useful For

Rapid confirmation of a diagnosis of streptococcal infections


Testing is performed Monday through Sunday.

Routine: Typically completed within 4 hours after the specimen arrives at the testing site.

Expedite: Typically completed within 1 hour after the specimen arrives at the testing site.

STAT: Typically completed within 15 minutes after the specimen arrives at the testing site.

CPT Code Information

87880 Dectection Infectious Agent by Immunoassay with Direct Optical Observation: Streptococcus, group A

LOINC Code Information

18481-2 Streptococcus pyogenes Ag [Presence] In Throat

Test Method

Immunochromatographic Dipstick Technology; Genzyme OSOM

Reference Values

Group A Strep Antigen not detected.