Performance of the Alere i influenza A&B assay and mariPOC test for the rapid detection of influenza A and B viruses

J Clin Virol. 2015 Sep:70:72-76. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2015.07.294. Epub 2015 Jul 17.


Background: Timely detection of influenza viruses is required to facilitate infection control measures and appropriate patient management. The Alere™ i Influenza A&B assay for detection of viral RNA and multianalyte mariPOC(®) test for detection of viral antigens enable rapid detection of influenza viruses with little hands-on time.

Objectives: To evaluate the performance of the Alere i Influenza A&B assay and the mariPOC test in comparison to the Xpert(®) Flu A/B assay and laboratory-developed real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.

Study design: A total of 140 and 108 nasopharyngeal specimens were analysed for evaluation of the Alere i and mariPOC, respectively.

Results: The sensitivity and specificity of the Alere i Influenza A&B assay for detection of influenza A virus was 80.0% and 98.1%, and for influenza B virus 45.2% and 98.2%, respectively. For the mariPOC test, a sensitivity and specificity of 53.1% and 98.7%, respectively, for detection of influenza A virus was achieved.

Conclusions: The mariPOC test proved insensitive for detection of influenza A virus and therefore unsuitable for individual patient diagnosis without confirmatory testing. In contrast, the Alere i Influenza A&B assay was reasonably sensitive and specific for detection of influenza A and B virus, although decreased detection of specimens with low viral load was observed particularly for detection of influenza B virus. Taken together with its rapidity and ease of use, the Alere i influenza A&B assay is a welcome alternative to immunochromatographic rapid influenza detection tests and may provide timely results that enable appropriate patient care and management of patient flow during high-prevalence seasons.

Keywords: Alere i; Influenza; POC; Rapid antigen detection; Real-time RT-PCR; mariPOC.

MeSH terms

  • Genes, Viral
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus / classification
  • Influenza A virus / genetics*
  • Influenza A virus / isolation & purification
  • Influenza B virus / classification
  • Influenza B virus / genetics*
  • Influenza B virus / isolation & purification
  • Influenza, Human / diagnosis*
  • Influenza, Human / virology*
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques* / methods
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques* / standards
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction / standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic