Background: Multipathogen reverse transcription real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) platforms have proven useful in surveillance for acute respiratory illness (ARI) and study of respiratory outbreaks of unknown etiology. The TaqMan(®) Array Card (TAC, Life Technologies™), can simultaneously test 7 clinical specimens for up to 21 individual pathogens (depending on arrangement of controls and use of duplicate wells) by arrayed singleplex RT-qPCR on a single assay card, using minimal amounts of clinical specimens. A previous study described the development of TAC for the detection of respiratory viral and bacterial pathogens; the assay was evaluated against well-characterized analytical materials and a limited collection of human clinical specimens.
Objectives: We wished to compare TAC assay performance against standard individual RT-qPCR assays for respiratory viral detection, focusing on 10 viruses (adenovirus, human metapneumovirus, human parainfluenza viruses 1-4, influenza viruses A and B, respiratory syncytial virus, and rhinovirus) from a larger collection of human specimens.
Study design: We used specimens from 942 children with ARI enrolled systematically in a population-based, ARI surveillance study (New Vaccine Surveillance Network, NVSN).
Results: Compared with standard individual RT-qPCR assays, the sensitivity of TAC for the targeted viruses ranged from 54% to 95% (54%, 56%, and 75% for adenovirus, human parainfluenza viruses-1 and -2, respectively, and 82%-95% for the other viruses). Assay specificity was 99%, and coefficients of variation for virus controls ranged from 1.5% to 4.5%.
Conclusion: The TAC assay should prove useful for multipathogen studies and rapid outbreak response.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.