Evaluation of rapid diagnostic test for influenza
AbstractIn high risk patients such as in eldery, newborns and immunosuppressed subjects, a timely diagnosis of influenza is required for the most appropriate antiviral strategy in order to avoid severe secondary respiratory complications and viral spreading. Influenza is preventable by vaccination and chemoprophylaxis and is treatable by specific antiviral indications. The need for a timely diagnosis has led to the introduction of numerous rapid diagnostic tests.These are mostly antigen detection test giving results within 30 minutes, a clinically relevant time-frame to complement with the use of antiviral medications or chemoprophylaxis strategy. When evaluating performances of rapid test for influenza viruses, it is important to consider the type and quality of specimen to be tested, as well as sensitivity and specificity of the assays. Nasal/nasopharyngeal swabs are the most frequently submitted specimens, but nasal/nasopharingeal aspirates and washs can improve the diagnostic sensitivity of the test. Only some rapid assays can be successful used with broncoalveolar washings. In this review,we evaluated the sensitivity, specificity, reproducibility and feasibility of the most currently licensed rapid tests for influenza virus A and B. A flow-chart for the laboratory diagnosis of influenza with rapid test in combination with confirmatory test is proposed.
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Copyright (c) 2009 Tiziano Allice, Valeria Ghisetti
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