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Streptococcus Genital Culture

Last updated May 10, 2019

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH

The Streptococcus Genital Culture is used to help assess the levels of streptococcus bacteria in the genitals.

What are the other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • GBS Genital Culture Test
  • Group B Strep Screen Genital Culture Test
  • Streptococcus Genital Culture Test

What is Streptococcus Genital Culture Test? (Background Information)

  • The genitals contain a diverse set of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi. This is especially true of the female vaginal tract
  • When the microorganism populations are unbalanced in the genital region, certain disease conditions may occur. This may result from antibiotic use, sexual intercourse, changes in diet, pregnancy, and stress levels, all of which influence the microorganism populations
  • Streptococci are a group of bacteria that live in the intestines and genital tract (of women). They are normally harmless, but can cause disease when they overgrow
  • Group B streptococci (GBS) are a subset of streptococci that commonly cause infections. They are hemolytic, meaning they can kill the red blood cells (RBCs)
  • The Streptococcus Genital Culture is used to help assess the levels of streptococcus bacteria in the genitals. It is used to diagnose bacterial infection by streptococci

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Streptococcus Genital Culture Test?

Following are the clinical indications (observed in the genital region) for performing Streptococcus Genital Culture:

  • Itching and burning
  • Yellowish discharge
  • Pain
  • Frequent urination
  • Blood in the urine

How is the Specimen Collected for Streptococcus Genital Culture Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Streptococcus Genital Culture:

Sample required: Genital swab

Process: Swabbing the inside of the genitals and/or the rectum with a Q-tip like device.

Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.

What is the Significance of the Streptococcus Genital Culture Test Result?

  • A positive Streptococcus Genital Culture test may indicate infection by streptococcus

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

  • Aside from causing discomfort, streptococcus infection in pregnant women may also lead to miscarriage and preterm labor and delivery

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

Please visit our Laboratory Procedures Center for more physician-approved health information:


References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Sept. 7, 2015
Last updated: May 10, 2019