Apr. 27, 2008 A new test capable of simultaneously detecting 15 respiratory viruses may allow for quicker diagnosis and treatment of potentially deadly respiratory infections in children and adults worldwide.
Acute respiratory infections (RTIs) are responsible for high rates of morbidity and mortality throughout the world, however the cause remains inconclusive in over half of all reported cases. Respiratory viruses are believed to be among the pathogens contributing to a significant number of undiagnosed infections, but clinical presentation of patients with RTIs are generally not pathogen specific. While cell culture is still considered the "gold standard" for laboratory detection of respiratory viruses, slow response time and low sensitivity are suboptimal for routine detection practices.
In the study a new multiparameter test called RespiFinder was developed to detect 15 respiratory viruses in one reaction. Researchers then used the RespiFinder, as well as the cell culture method and a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-specific immunochromatography assay (ICA) to examine 144 clinical samples and compared the results. In most cases the RespiFinder was as effective or nearly as effective (more than 95%) as the cell culture, or "gold standard", in both sensitivity and specificity.
Only test results for rhinovirus and RSV came in under 95%. In addition, compared to the RSV-specific ICA, the RespiFinder showed a specificity and sensitivity of approximately 80%.
"The RespiFinder assay provides a user-friendly and high-throughput tool for the simultaneous detection of 15 respiratory viruses with excellent overall performance statistics," say the researchers.
Journal reference: M. Reijans, G. Dingemans, C.H. Klaassen, J.F. Meis, J. Keijdener, B. Mulders, K. Eadie, W. van Leeuwen, A. van Belkum, A.M. Horrevorts, G. Simons. 2008. RespiFinder: a new multiparameter test to differentially identify fifteen respiratory viruses. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 46. 4: 1232-1240.
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