Throat and Nose Cultures

Alternate Names

  • Throat Culture
  • Rapid Strep Test
  • Whooping Cough Test
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Throat and nose cultures are done to identify the bacterial or viral organism causing a respiratory tract infection, and are used to diagnose strep throat, whooping cough, diphtheria, or meningitis. Throat and nose cultures are also done to screen for staph infections, flu, the common cold, and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). The culture is grown in the lab, and preliminary results are available in one day; final results are available in two to three days. The test may be repeated following treatment, to ensure complete recovery. Strep throat can be diagnosed with the Rapid-Strep Test; a culture is not required, test results are available within 15 minutes and are very accurate.

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