Rapid influenza antigen detection tests (RIADTs) using immunochromatography are the most readily available tools for the diagnosis and management of influenza. This study was designed to assess whether near point-of-care administration by primary care physicians of the RIADT and a fully automated respiratory virus nucleic acid test (Verigene Respiratory Virus Plus®; RV+) would contribute to improved patient management. When viral culture and RT-PCR/bi-directional sequencing were used as the gold standard, sensitivities and specificities for RIADT and RV+ were 58.3% and 90.9%, and 97.2% and 100%, respectively. Within 12 hours from onset of fever, sensitivities were 44.4% and 94.4%, respectively, for RIADT and RV+. In clinical situations where a higher-sensitivity test is needed, such as during pre-admission evaluations, for testing of hospital employees during the prodromal phase of infection, during the therapeutic decision-making process, and during outbreaks, we suggest that patients testing negative by the RIADT can be reassessed with the RV+ test to achieve maximal diagnostic accuracy.
Keywords: Fully automated respiratory virus Nucleic acid test; Influenza; Near point-of-care; Physician administered; Rapid influenza antigen detection Test by immunochromatography.
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