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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:
Your child doesn't need to do anything before having this test. Tell your doctor if your child has recently taken antibiotics.
The test will take less than a minute.
Throat culture test
Rapid strep test One other type of test is called a rapid strep test. 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 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. The rapid strep test is not used often in Canada. It’s also not available through Alberta Health Services. You may be able to buy it at your local pharmacy.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your child's test results.
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Adaptation Date: 6/4/2021
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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