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Test Code LABS0253 Lab Only - Group A Streptococcus Culture

Important Note

This test may only be ordered when a Rapid Strep test has been performed in the office and found to be negative.  This test is used to back up a negative Rapid Group A Strep test.

If a rapid test has not been performed, order:

Useful For

The culture confirmation of a negative Rapid Group A Strep test


Conventional Biochemical Identification Methods

Performing Laboratory

Bozeman Health Laboratory Services

Specimen Requirements

Specimen Type: Throat

Container/Tube: Red, double copan culture swab

Specimen Volume: Adequate amount
Collection Instructions: Click here for diagram )

1. Obtain specimen using a red double copan culture swab.
2. Tilt patient’s head back to assist in opening of mouth as wide as possible.
3. Depress tongue with a tongue depressor so swab doesn’t touch oral mucosa or tongue.
4. In 1 continuous motion:

  • Swab 1 tonsillar area up then down.
  • Move to back of throat as far down as possible, and swab there. If the patient has complained of 1 spot being sore, swab that area well.
  • Move to other tonsillar area and swab.
  • Swab behind uvula, and remove swab.

5. Transfer swab back to culture container. Break off stem, and replace cap on transport tube.

6. Label tube with patient’s name (first and last), date and actual time of collection, and type of specimen.

Specimen Rejection: Specimen must arrive within 48 hours of collection

Specimen Transport Temperature


Specimen Stability


Specimen Type Temperature Time
Copan Swab Ambient 48 hours


Reference Values


Critical value (automatic call-back): Positive for growth of Group A Strep

Day(s) Test Set Up

Monday through Sunday

Test Classification and CPT Coding

87081-Culture, presumptive, pathogenic organisms, screening only

87077-Aerobic identification (if appropriate)


Additional Information

Identification will be performed, if appropriate, at an additional charge.