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CPT 87880 | Streptococcus A Antigens Detection By Immunoassay

CPT code 87880 is a diagnostic test for the presence of Streptococcus A antigens in a patient’s specimen using an immunoassay method and visual observation by an analyst.

What Is CPT Code 87880?

The CPT code 87880 refers to testing a patient’s specimen for the presence of Streptococcus A antigens using an immunoassay method that involves extracting viral particles from a sample, incubating the extracted liquid, and adding it to a test device containing antibodies.

The test is conducted by an analyst who observes the reaction, which is indicated by a color change and confirms the presence of Strep A antigens.


The CPT book describes CPT code 87880 as: “Infectious agent antigen detection by immunoassay with direct optical (i.e., visual) observation; Streptococcus, group A.”


The analyst performs the technical steps to test the patient’s specimen for antigens to Streptococcus, group A, using an immunoassay method, such as a chromatographic assay, that may include extracting viral particles from the swab or washings, incubating the extraction phase, and adding the extracted liquid to a test device containing antibodies to influenza virus.

A color change, such as a colored line, appears within several minutes, indicating the presence of Strep A antigens, and the analyst directly observes the reaction.

How To Use CPT 87880

Although not limited to testing for specific conditions, clinicians may order CPT 87880 to help diagnose Streptococcus, group A, infections in patients experiencing pharyngitis, also called a sore throat. These infections may lead to rheumatic fever and kidney failure without timely and proper treatment.

CPT code 87880 is a CLIA-Waived test.

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