When is throat culture for group A streptococcal (GAS) infection contraindicated?

Updated: Sep 07, 2018
  • Author: Zartash Zafar Khan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Answer

When considering the approach to bacteriologic diagnosis, emphasizing those patients who should not undergo throat culture is important. Cultures should not be obtained from children with nasal congestion, injected conjunctiva, and cough, because these features indicate the presence of acute viral pharyngitis. A positive culture finding in this context only reflects chronic colonization (streptococcal carrier state). Although identifying and treating the streptococcal carrier may occasionally have merit, routinely obtaining cultures in children with symptoms suggestive of viral pharyngitis is not warranted and leads to unwarranted courses of antibiotic therapy.


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