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A 24-year-old male asked:

Is it possible to detect the strain of a strep infection from blood tests?i can't stand the throat culture.having high aso titers for years

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Rivera
Family Medicine 23 years experience
Strep throat: In order to determine a bacterial strain a direct culture is needed. A blood culture would only detect if bacteria were in the blood and not the throat. Aso titters only measure antibody response to anti-streptolysin, and not to other possible pathogens you may be worried about.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
Man up!: You smoke cigarettes but can't stand to have your throat swabbed? Here's what's at issue. You're not going to know if you have a strep throat unless you get a culture or at least a rapid strep screen. If strep throat is present and not treated, your heart can end up ruined. If it's not present and is overtreated with antibiotics, you're risking weeks of diarrhea, or worse. Ask 4 a topical numb rx.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
Provided original answer
By the way -- "elevated ASO titers" in the absence of any clinical evidence of acute rheumatic fever mean basically nothing. Stop worrying about this, and ignore anybody who's told you that this needs treatment. If you need a little topical anesthetic spray to prevent bad gagging, ask. Especially, I hope you and your physician will talk about smoking cessation. Cheers.
Apr 7, 2014

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Last updated Apr 23, 2014

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