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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1996 Jan;44(1):71-3.

Evaluation of four methods for the diagnosis of respiratory syncytial virus infection in older adults.

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1
Department of Medicine, Rochester General Hospital, NY 14621-3095, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate four methods of rapid diagnosis of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in older adults and to compare sensitivities with serologic analysis.

DESIGN:

Prospective comparative analysis.

SETTING:

Two adult daycenters.

PATIENTS:

Frail older persons attending the daycenter who developed signs or symptoms of acute respiratory illness between the months of December and February.

MEASUREMENTS:

Viral cultures performed by standard technique and bedside inoculation: antigen detection by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and Directigen enzyme immunoassay (EIA) on nasal brush samples; serologic analysis of acute and convalescent sera using EIA.

RESULTS:

RSV infection was documented by serology in 11 of 54 (20%) subjects during the study period. Bedside viral cultures were the most sensitive assay and were positive in 6/9 infections. Standard viral culture detected 5/11 cases. Both methods of rapid antigen detection were found to be insensitive, with 1/11 detected by IFA and 0/11 detected by EIA.

CONCLUSION:

Rapid antigen tests for the diagnosis of RSV in older persons should be used with caution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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