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J Clin Virol. 2005 Jun;33(2):172-5.

Sensitivity of diagnostic tests for influenza varies with the circulating strains.

Author information

1
Clinical Virology Laboratory, University of Colorado Hospital, 4200 East Ninth Avenue, Denver, CO 80262, USA. adriana.weinberg@uchsc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Effective strategies to combat the spread of influenza viruses rely on accurate diagnosis of the infection, which is greatly affected by the sensitivity of the assays used.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine if the sensitivity of assays used to detect influenza varies with the viral strains.

STUDY DESIGN:

This prospective study used 142 respiratory specimens submitted to the clinical virology laboratory during the 2003/2004 influenza season, when the H3N2 Fujian strain was first detected in our community, to assess sensitivities of rapid immunoassay (RIA), shell-vial (SV), hemadsorption (HA)-, and fluorescent antibody (FA)-based conventional tissue culture (TC). Results were compared with similar evaluations performed in 2002/2003 or earlier seasons.

RESULTS:

Sensitivities of RIA, SV, HA-TC, and FA-TC were 44, 70, 82, and 100%, respectively for influenza virus circulating in 2003/2004. The comparison with results obtained in previous influenza seasons showed a significantly decreased sensitivity of HA-TC (p=0.02) and lower sensitivity of RIA but without reaching statistical significance (44% versus 72%, p=0.2).

CONCLUSIONS:

This report underscores the importance of determining the accuracy and sensitivity of diagnostic tests against emerging influenza variant strains.

PMID:
15911434
DOI:
10.1016/j.jcv.2004.12.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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