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J Clin Virol. 2010 Feb;47(2):182-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2009.11.022.

Performance of laboratory diagnostics for the detection of influenza A(H1N1)v virus as correlated with the time after symptom onset and viral load.

Author information

1
Centre for Health Protection, Department of Health, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

To diagnose influenza A(H1N1)v virus infection, accurate and rapid detection are important. However, there is scanty data on the performance of various laboratory diagnostics.

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the performance of rapid antigen test (RAT), viral culture and RT-PCR for the detection of influenza A(H1N1)v virus and to correlate their performance with the time after symptom onset and viral load.

STUDY DESIGN:

From May 1, 2009 to June 25, 2009, respiratory samples were collected from 5740 individuals suspected of having influenza A(H1N1)v infection. The performance of viral culture and RT-PCR were investigated and correlated with the time after symptom onset. The sensitivity of RAT ESPLINE influenza A & B-N (Fujirebio Inc, Tokyo) was evaluated using a subset of 60 samples from patients diagnosed as having influenza A(H1N1)v infection.

RESULTS:

Using respiratory samples from 587 patients diagnosed with influenza A(H1N1)v infection, comparison of laboratory diagnostics showed viral culture and RT-PCR gave comparable results with overall sensitivity of 93.9% and 98.1%, respectively. For RAT, when testing a subset of 60 samples collected < or =3 days following symptom onset, the sensitivity was 62%.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although viral shedding is prolonged and of higher titre in influenza A(H1N1)v infection, RAT showed a low sensitivity of 62% among patients presenting < or =3 days after symptom onset. Viral culture showed comparable performance with RT-PCR and with sensitivity better than that documented for seasonal influenza.

PMID:
20022296
DOI:
10.1016/j.jcv.2009.11.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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