Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Clin Microbiol. 2003 Aug;41(8):3597-601.

Comparison of SmartCycler real-time reverse transcription-PCR assay in a public health laboratory with direct immunofluorescence and cell culture assays in a medical center for detection of influenza A virus.

Author information

  • 1Yale University School of Medicine. Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8035, USA.


A single-tube real-time (fluorogenic) reverse transcription (RT)-PCR with the SmartCycler instrument (SmartCycler RT-PCR) for influenza A virus detection was evaluated with 238 respiratory specimens. Direct immunofluorescence antibody staining (DFA) and primary rhesus monkey kidney cell culture were performed on-site at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Specimens were transported to the Connecticut Department of Public Health Laboratory for real-time RT-PCR. Cell culture detected influenza A virus in all 150 influenza A virus-positive specimens, DFA detected the virus in 148 influenza A virus-positive specimens, and SmartCycler RT-PCR detected the virus 143 influenza A virus-positive specimens. The sensitivity and specificity of RT-PCR were 95.3 and 100%, respectively. The high sensitivity and specificity and the rapid turnaround time made the SmartCycler RT-PCR valuable for the rapid diagnosis of influenza A, especially in a public health laboratory. The closed real-time RT-PCR system avoided cross-contamination possible with RT-PCR and the excessive manipulations required for conventional RT-PCR analysis and saved time and labor as well. In a medical center, rapid diagnosis by DFA was labor intensive but was 98.7% sensitive and 100% specific compared to the results of culture and provided results within 2 h throughout operating hours, helping with bed allocation on admission and patient management.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk