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How is a rapid antigen test used to diagnose throat disorders?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

A rapid antigen test is a faster way to diagnose a throat disorder than the more traditional way of attempting to grow the bacteria in a throat culture. After a doctor swabs the throat, it takes only a few minutes to complete the test. A positive rapid antigen test strongly confirms that a bacterial infection is present. However, a negative test does not rule out infection. Doctors will often also do a throat culture, if the test is negative.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.