Abstract: The pharynx is a common site of infection. The etiology is usually infectious, with 40-60% of cases being of viral origin and 5-40% of bacterial origin. A number of different viruses can infect the human throat. The most common viral causes of pharyngitis are adenovirus and Epstein-Barr virus however others include, influenza virus, herpes simplex virus, rhinovirus, coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus and parainfluenza virus. The primary cause of bacterial pharyngitis is Streptococcus pyogenes, however others include, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Arcanobacterium haemolyticum, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Some cases of pharyngitis are caused by fungi such as Candida albicans. Infection of the pharynx is associated with pharyngeal pain. Inspection of the pharynx reveals that affected tissues are red and swollen. Depending on the causative microorganism, enlarged and tender nasopharyngeal lymph nodes, vesicles, inflammatory exudates, mucosal ulceration, headache and aching muscles and joints may be observed. The diagnosis of viral pharyngitis is made by examining the throat and serological tests. The gold standard for diagnosis of bacterial pharyngitis is culture on agar. The primary purpose of a throat culture is to isolate and identify organisms from the pharynx that cause infection. The specimen for pharynx culture is obtained by wiping the patient's throat with a cotton swab. Throat cultures should be taken before the patient is started any antibiotic medications. An accurate diagnosis is essential to prevent unnecessary use of antibiotics.