The aim of this study was to assess the reliability of rapid antigen detection tests (RADT) for Streptococcus pyogenes (GAS) and Streptococcus pneumoniae on pleural fluid samples for diagnosis of parapneumonic effusion/empyema (PPE) and their potential for improving pathogen identification rates. Sixty-three pleural samples were included from 54 patients on which GAS and S. pneumoniae RADT (BinaxNOW), culture, 16S rRNA PCR, and S. pneumoniae-specific PCR were performed. GAS RADT showed a sensitivity of 95.2% and a specificity of 100%. Pneumococcal RADT showed a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 88.6%. Both RADT increased the pathogen identification rate in PPE compared to culture.
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