rapid antigen test

Also found in: Acronyms.

rapid antigen test

Any laboratory test used to quickly identify the presence of a specific antigen in a body fluid sample.

Patient care

Rapid antigen tests are used to confirm diagnostic impressions or to screen large numbers of patients quickly for the possibility of infection. In rapid HIV antigen tests, a positive test is not considered definitive for infection: it requires confirmation with blood tests (serology). In screening for streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat), clinicians often consider the test as adequate for immediate treatment even though false positive and negative results can occur.

Synonym: rapid antigen detection test
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
Sensitivity was 86.2% for the single rapid antigen test, 91.4% for the combination of both antigen tests, and 95.7% for the combination of rapid antigen test and culture.
Multiple blood, urine, and sputum cultures were unrevealing; rapid antigen test was positive for influenza A, with subsequent confirmation at the CDPH VRDL for novel influenza A (H1).
He recommended using a culture rather than a rapid antigen test or not testing at all to confine antibiotic use.
The overall sensitivity of rapid antigen tests for group A streptococcus has declined in recent years.
On the other hand, commercially available rapid antigen tests such as Directigen Flu A+B (Becton Dickinson, Sparks, NJ, USA) or Binax NOW (Binax Inc., Portland, ME, USA) are rapid and simple, but subtyping of viruses is not feasible.
Elevated antistreptolysin-O (ASO) or anti-DNase B titers or evidence of GAS in the pharynx via a rapid antigen test or throat culture are indications to try empiric GAS therapy If the urticaria goes away and stays away, you've solved the problem.
In addition, 52 (13%) of the 388 physicians who reported using the rapid antigen test said they did not confirm a negative result with throat culture, as the clinical guidelines recommend.
Recently a high-sensitivity rapid antigen test has become available.
For adults, guidelines that recommend against testing those with a low clinical likelihood of GAS infection and against using throat culture to confirm negative rapid antigen test results could lead to a substantial number of missed GAS pharyngitis cases, while selective use of throat cultures is compatible with a goal of reducing antibiotic use and unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics.
However, with the current commercial availability of a rapid antigen test with sensitivity equivalent or superior to BAP culture,[17,18] these recommendations have been challenged.[18,19]
A nasopharyngeal swab was positive for influenza A virus by a rapid antigen test, and treatment with oseltamivir was initiated.

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