How accurate is the group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal (GABHS) rapid antigen detection test for the diagnosis of pharyngitis (sore throat)?

Updated: May 06, 2020
  • Author: John R Acerra, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Answer

Antigens are specific, but sensitivities vary. The sensitivity of the GABHS rapid antigen detection test is 70-90%, and the specificity is 90-100%, depending on the manufacturer. [23, 24, 25, 26] Children with a negative antigen test should have a follow-up culture unless the antigen being used in the office has been shown to be as sensitive as a culture. [17]


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