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J Pediatr. 2008 Jul;153(1):76-83. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2007.12.035. Epub 2008 Mar 7.

Utility of DNA microarrays for detection of viruses in acute respiratory tract infections in children.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.



To assess the utility of a panviral DNA microarray platform (Virochip) in the detection of viruses associated with pediatric respiratory tract infections (RTIs).


The Virochip was compared with conventional direct fluorescent antibody (DFA)- and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based testing for the detection of respiratory viruses in 278 consecutive nasopharyngeal aspirate samples from 222 children.


The Virochip was superior in performance to DFA, showing a 19% increase in the detection of 7 respiratory viruses included in standard DFA panels, and was similar to virus-specific PCR (sensitivity, 85% to 90%; specificity, >/=99%; positive predictive value, 94% to 96%; negative predictive value, 97% to 98%) in the detection of respiratory syncytial virus, influenza A, and rhinoviruses/enteroviruses. The Virochip also detected viruses not routinely tested for or missed by DFA and PCR, as well as double infections and infections in critically ill patients that DFA failed to detect.


Given its favorable sensitivity and specificity profile and expanded spectrum for detection, microarray-based viral testing holds promise for clinical diagnosis of pediatric RTIs.

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