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Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2000 Mar-Apr;3(2):162-7.

Evaluation of a neuraminidase detection assay for the rapid detection of influenza A and B virus in children.

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Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, 6621 Fannin, MC 3-2371, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


A prototype version of a new diagnostic assay for influenza A and B (Zstat Flutrade mark) based on detection of viral neuraminidase was evaluated and compared to culture in 196 clinical samples. Children with respiratory illnesses were prospectively evaluated at a pediatrician's office and at a large children's hospital using the neuraminidase assay and viral culture performed on respiratory secretions. Influenza virus was isolated from 51 samples and 83 were positive by the neuraminidase assay. When compared to culture the sensitivity of the assay was 96%, specificity was 77%, positive predictive value was 59%, and negative predictive value was 98%. Testing in the laboratory of pure cultures of bacteria and non-influenza viruses frequently found in the respiratory tract showed 0% cross-reactivity with the neuraminidase assay and 100% specificity for influenza virus in vitro. This new assay provided useful information for the preliminary diagnosis of influenza A and B infections and appears to be suitable for both point-of-care use in the physician's office and rapid diagnosis in a virology laboratory. The high sensitivity makes it particularly useful as a screening test for exclusion of influenza A and B infections. To confirm the diagnosis and exclude a false-positive result, as well as to determine the influenza virus type, a viral culture may be considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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