Is throat culture or group A streptococcal (GAS) antibody testing preferred during workup of acute rheumatic fever (ARF)?

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

Because the isolation and identification of GAS from a throat swab does not distinguish between a person with acute streptococcal infection and a person who is a streptococcal carrier, the best evidence of an antecedent streptococcal infection is a serologic response to the organism. An elevated streptococcal antibody titer can be used as serologic evidence of a recent GAS infection. Serial samples should be obtained because identification of a rising titer is particularly helpful.


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