Streptococci are a genus of gram-positive, spherical bacteria that appear in chains. There are over 30 recognized species within this genus. Streptococci cause an array of diseases in humans including pharyngitis, scarlet fever, impetigo, rheumatic fever, pneumonia, meningitis, otitis media, sinusitis, endometritis, and septicemia.
The advantage of rapid diagnostic tests is that they can be quickly performed in the physician’s office; however due to sensitivity limitations, supplemental testing is required for negative results. Molecular tests that detect Group A Strep DNA have recently become available. While not as rapid as the antigen test, they provide a definitive result (no supplemental testing required) while the patient is in the doctor’s office.