According to CDC data, influenza infections in this country cause more than 114,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths annually. Among healthy adults, bronchitis and pneumonia are the most common complications. Together, influenza and pneumonia are the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Influenza is particularly dangerous in elderly and immunocompromised people; however, infections involving fulminant influenza strains are serious illnesses in any patient. Prompt diagnosis of influenza supports improved treatment outcomes, now supported by the availability of rapid testing for point of care use.
Early diagnosis of influenza can reduce the use of inappropriate antibiotics and support the option of antiviral therapy. However, the accuracy of clinical diagnosis of influenza on the basis of symptoms alone is limited because symptoms from illness caused by other pathogens can overlap considerably with influenza.
Quick test kits from three manufacturers are currently CLIA-waived, providing an important diagnostic resource for point of care use. All of these kits are characterized by the College of American Pathologists as moderately complex.
Binax, Inc., Portland, Maine, produces the NOW Flu A Test (Influenza A) and NOW Flu B Test (Influenza B), both of which, according to the company, are the most widely used products of their type in the market.
The NOW Flu A test is an in vitro rapid immunochromatographic assay for the qualitative detection of Influenza A nucleoprotein antigen in nasal wash and nasopharyngeal swab specimens from symptomatic patients.
Using a nasal wash sample, sensitivity is rated at 82 percent and specificity at 94 percent. Using an NP swab sample, sensitivity is 78 percent and specificity is 92 percent
For the NOW Flu B test using a nasal wash sample, sensitivity is rated at 71 percent and specificity at 97 percent. Using an NP swab sample, sensitivity is 58 percent and specificitPage: 1 2 3 Related medicine technology :1
. Novel Human Tissue Transgenic Cancer Model May Offer Significant
Advance Toward Accurately Modeling Human Cancer2
. HepaLifes PBS-1 Cells for Influenza Vaccine Production Prove
Superior at International Conference3
. New Flu Vaccine from PepTcell Could Provide Immunity Against All
Strains of Influenza Virus4
. BioCryst Presents Phase I Peramivir Data at the Options for the
Control of Influenza Conference5
. New Flu Vaccine From PepTcell Could Provide Immunity Against All
Strains of Influenza Virus6
. Hemispherx Presents Evidence of Ampligen Synergies with Existing
Antivirals at International Avian Influenza Conference7
. Hemispherx Presents Potential Avian Influenza Treatment
Breakthrough at Paris Conference8
. HepaLife Announces Scientific Presentation of PBS-1 Cell Line at
International Influenza Meeting9
. Iomai to Announce Results From Phase 1 Influenza Trial and Host
. VGX Pharmaceuticals Novel HIV and Pandemic Influenza DNA Vaccine
Candidates Trigger Robust Immune Responses and Protection in
. Data Show FluMist May Reduce Seasonal Influenza Burden Among
Children in School, Daycare Settings