Beta-Hemolytic Streptococcus Culture, Group A Only

Additional Information:

UFHPL Epic order code: LAB236

Rheumatic fever remains a concern in the United States and serious complications including sepsis, soft tissue invasion, and toxic shock-like syndrome have been reported to be increasing in frequency;1 therefore, timely diagnosis and early institution of appropriate therapy remains important. Timely therapy may reduce the acute symptoms and overall duration of streptococcal pharyngitis. The sequelae of poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis and rheumatic fever are diminished by early therapy.

As group A streptococci are uniformly susceptible to penicillin, there is no indication for monitoring susceptibility to penicillin and the emergence of resistance. Susceptibility testing is not routinely performed.

CPT Code(s):


Specimen Requirements:

Type: Material from the patient’s posterior pharynx, tonsils or other inflamed area

Container/Tube: Bacterial swab transport containing Amies gel (preferred) or a double-dry Dacron swab
  • Both tonsillar pillars and the oropharynx should be swabbed. Do not allow the swab to touch the patient’s tongue.

Sample Volume: One or two swabs

Storage: Store specimens at room temperature.
Rejection Criteria:

  • Unlabeled specimen or name discrepancy between specimen and request label
  • Inappropriate specimen transport device
  • Leaking specimen
  • Specimen received after prolonged delay (usually more than 72 hours)
  • Expired transport


This test is used to isolate and identify group A β-hemolytic streptococci and establish a diagnosis of strep throat.
The test includes culture for isolation of group A Streptococcus only. CPT coding for microbiology and virology procedures often cannot be determined before the culture is performed. Routine susceptibility testing is not performed on group A streptococci because penicillin continues to be the drug of choice. There has been no resistance reported and surveillance for resistance is not recommended. If the patient is penicillin allergic, susceptibility test may be requested in the clinical information fielMaterial from posterior pharynx, tonsils, or other inflamed areatd. It will be performed at an additional charge.