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New, Much Faster, More Accurate Diagnostic for Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus
A new, fully automated system is much quicker, and more accurate in diagnosing influenza A and B, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) A and B than conventional alternatives, according to a paper in the November Journal of Clinical Microbiology. The new technology promises faster and more appropriate treatment of patients.
"Instead of relying on insensitive but rapid influenza tests for diagnosis in the clinic, or waiting 24 hours or more for molecular results to come back, we can now provide molecular level sensitivity in less than three hours," says principal investigator Nathan A. Ledeboer of the Medical College of Wisconsin, and Dynacare Laboratories, Milwaukee.
"This will mean that hospitalized patients with influenza and RSV infections will be isolated faster, which will decrease the risk of transmission to other patients in the hospital," says Ledeboer. The faster turnaround also means that "fewer patients will be placed on empiric therapy, which will decrease costs and decrease the risk of an adverse event caused by medication." In the study, the assay, a microarray, was tested on 720 patient samples collected throughout the US.
The new technology, called Respiratory Virus Nucleic Acid Test SP" (RVNATsp), is 98 percent sensitive (meaning that 98 percent of positive results are accurate) and 96 percent specific, meaning that 96 percent o
|Contact: Jim Sliwa|
American Society for Microbiology