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Point of Care Strep Tests Speed Treatment, Lower Costs

d accurate diagnosis and treatment and to have lowered costs. Furthermore, research on the validity of rapid strep tests without follow-up throat cultures suggests that there is no difference in the complication rate between patients tested with a rapid test over a throat culture.

Thirty-five CLIA-waived antigen tests that test directly from throat swabs are currently available from 26 different biomedical firms, making this assay the most broadly produced point of care diagnostic kit. Among the most popular RADT products are:

  • The ACON Strep A Twist Rapid Test Device (Throat Swab) from ACON Laboratories, Inc. San Diego, Calif., is a lateral flow test in device format, utilizing a patented design to provide convenience to the user. Specimen extraction is performed directly a built-in swab chamber, eliminating the need for test tubes and reducing the number of steps. This test exhibits a 93 percent accuracy compared to plate culture.

  • The QuickVue In-Line Strep A Test from Quidel Corporation, San Diego, Calif., also allows for the rapid detection of group A streptococcal antigen directly from patient throat swab specimens. Two-color results provide clear readability. The 25 test kit package is stored at room temperature and includes positive and negative external controls.

  • The OSOM Ultra Strep A Test from Genzyme, Cambridge, Mass., is a color immuno-chromatographic assay that detects either viable or nonviable organisms directly from a throat swab, providing results within seven minutes. Genzyme says that the product has a demonstrated 96 percent sensitivity and specificity.

  • The Biostar Acceava Group A Strep test produced by Thermo Electron Corporation, Waltham, Mass., delivers excellent sensitivity and specificity with a simple, easy-to-use test that reports a result in five minutes or less. The company claims that this test is significantly more sensitive with low to moderat
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