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A throat culture is a test to find a bacterial or fungal infection in the throat. Instead of a regular throat culture, you may get a different type of test (called a molecular test) that looks for DNA (the genetic information inside cells). A molecular test checks for the most common type of bacteria that causes a throat infection.
Both types of tests are done by swabbing the back of your throat
A throat culture may be done to:
The test will take less than a minute.
Rapid strep test Another type of test is called a rapid strep test. You can’t get this test through an Alberta Health Services lab or service. You may be able to buy this test at your local pharmacy. You’ll get the results of a rapid strep test within 10 to 15 minutes. If you get a negative test result, it could mean that you don't have a bacterial throat infection. But sometimes the results of these tests are wrong. If your symptoms don't go away, make an appointment to see your healthcare provider. They may want to send you for a throat culture or a molecular test to check for a throat infection.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.
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Adaptation Date: 2/25/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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