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J Clin Lab Anal. 2013 Mar;27(2):148-54. doi: 10.1002/jcla.21576. Epub 2013 Feb 19.

Evaluation of the FilmArray® Respiratory Panel for clinical use in a large children's hospital.

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Department of Pathology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.



Respiratory pathogens are a leading cause of hospital admission and traditional detection methods are time consuming and insensitive. Multiplex molecular detection methods have recently been investigated in hope of replacing these traditional techniques with rapid panel-based testing.


This study evaluated the FilmArray(®) Respiratory Panel ([FARP], Idaho Technology Inc., Salt Lake City, UT) as a replacement for direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) testing in a pediatric hospital.


Eleven of the 21 FARP analytes (Adenovirus, Bordetella pertussis, human Metapneumovirus, Influenza A, Influenza A H1N1 2009, Influenza B, Parainfluenza [1, 2, & 3], Respiratory Syncytial Virus, and rhinovirus) were evaluated using nasopharyngeal specimens. Positive samples were pooled in groups of 5. Samples identified by reference methods as positive for respiratory pathogens were used for the majority of positive samples. DFA was the reference method for ten analytes; Luminex™ xTAG Respiratory Virus Panel (RVP) was the reference method for rhinovirus. Discrepant results were resolved by positive culture and fluorescent antibody stain and/or laboratory-developed real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays (LDT).


The agreement for most analytes was in concordance with the established reference methods with the exception of Adenovirus. Additionally, the FARP detected several pathogens not previously detected by DFA, and most were confirmed by LDT. Several DFA-positive analytes were confirmed as true-negatives by the FARP and LDT.


FARP overall performed better than DFA with the exception of Adenovirus, making the FARP an attractive alternative to laboratories looking to replace DFA with a rapid, user-friendly, multiplex molecular assay.

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