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Mol Diagn Ther. 2009;13(1):15-8. doi: 10.2165/01250444-200913010-00003.

3M Rapid Detection Flu A + B Test: a new diagnostic test for rapid detection of influenza A and influenza B.

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Infection Prevention Division, 3M Health Care, St Paul, Minnesota 55144-1000, USA.


Influenza is a seasonal contagious respiratory illness that infects an average of 5-20% of the population each year. Accurate, easy to use, rapid laboratory tests are needed to detect influenza. Traditional laboratory methods are accurate but do not provide a rapid turnaround time. Current rapid antigen tests provide a quick result but provide lower sensitivity and specificity, and require interpretation, correct timing, and manual documentation of results. New tests that provide adequate sensitivity and specificity, objective results, self timing, and the ability to record, store, and print data are needed. The 3M Rapid Detection Flu A + B Test is a new immunochromatographic test for influenza. It has an easy-to-use, automated, self-timed reader designed to deliver objective identification of influenza A and influenza B virus. The fluorescent reader automatically delivers a qualitative positive or negative result, differentiating influenza A and influenza B. It records and stores test data and has printing and connectivity capability, which potentially reduces reporting errors. Recent clinical studies have shown that the 3M test provided more reliable results than other rapid tests on the market. An accurate and timely diagnosis provides a piece of information needed to provide appropriate treatment and care of the patient. Rapid identification of hospitalized patients with influenza ensures that measures are implemented to prevent the spread of influenza to other patients.

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