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The office-based blood agar plate culture was more sensitive than the rapid antigen detection test for detecting pharyngitis

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Study question

In children and adolescents suspected of having acute pharyngitis caused by group A streptococcus (GAS), are office-based rapid antigen detection tests (RADTs) more sensitive than office-based blood agar plate cultures (BAPs)?

Study design


blinded comparisons of office-based RADTs and BAPs with laboratory-based cultures.


6 paediatric offices (3 in Chicago, Illinois and 3 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA).


1848 children and adolescents 3–18 years of age (mean age 9 y, 53% girls, 56% with McIsaac clinical scores >3) were tested for pharyngitis.

Description of tests:

1 of 2 throat swabs was used to perform the RADT and the BAP.

Diagnostic standard:

the second throat swab was sent to a hospital laboratory to be cultured.


sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratios for detecting …

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  • Source of funding: Quidel, USA.