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Bridgewater, NJ
A 59-year-old female asked:

Is it possible to have a negative throat and sinus culture but have high levels of strep in a blood test. what are the possible implications?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. David Lipkin
Internal Medicine 52 years experience
See below: The negative cultures mean you did not have an bacterial infection in your sinus or throat. The "high levels of strep in the blood" does not refer to actual streptococci bacteria in the blood. It refers to the level of a specific antibody that the immune system makes to defend itself from a bacterial infection. A high ASO level means you may have had an infection with strep in the past 6-12 months
Dr. David Lipkin
Internal Medicine 52 years experience
Provided original answer
The ASO antibody test can also be elevated in some other conditions, such as collagen vascular diseases( Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis etc.). False (+) elevations of ASO can occur with liver disease and with contamination of the test serum sample with other bacteria.
Jan 15, 2015

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Last updated May 23, 2019

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