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J Clin Virol. 2008 Oct;43(2):148-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2008.06.006. Epub 2008 Jul 18.

Real-time PCR compared to Binax NOW and cytospin-immunofluorescence for detection of influenza in hospitalized patients.

Author information

1
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, P.O. Box 208035, New Haven, CT, United States. marie.landry@yale.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Rapid tests have had a significant impact on influenza diagnosis, but more accurate tests are needed for hospitalized patients who test negative by rapid methods.

OBJECTIVE:

We sought to determine the increased yield obtained from influenza RT-PCR in hospitalized patients compared to two rapid methods.

STUDY DESIGN:

Binax NOW, cytospin-enhanced direct immunofluoroescence (DFA), and influenza A and B multiplex TaqMan RT-PCR were performed on 237 clinical samples.

RESULTS:

Binax NOW detected 70 (53.0%), cytospin-DFA detected 127 (96.2%), and TaqMan RT-PCR detected 132 (100%) influenza-positive samples. The difference in sensitivity was significant between RT-PCR and Binax NOW (p<0.0001), but not between RT-PCR and cytospin-DFA (p=0.0736). Two samples testing positive for influenza B by all three methods, tested falsely positive for influenza A by Binax. Eight true positive samples did not become reactive by Binax until 30 min, and thus were counted as negative.

CONCLUSIONS:

The accuracy of real-time RT-PCR should greatly improve the diagnosis of influenza in hospitals using simple rapid flu tests, but may have a more modest impact in hospitals with expertise in cytospin-DFA. Further studies are needed to determine the effect of influenza RT-PCR on patient management and costs in hospitalized patients.

PMID:
18639488
DOI:
10.1016/j.jcv.2008.06.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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