Multicenter Clinical Evaluation of the Alere i Respiratory Syncytial Virus Isothermal Nucleic Acid Amplification Assay

J Clin Microbiol. 2018 Feb 22;56(3):e01777-17. doi: 10.1128/JCM.01777-17. Print 2018 Mar.


The Alere i respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) assay is an isothermal nucleic acid amplification test capable of detecting RSV directly from respiratory specimens, with results being available in ≤13 min after test initiation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance characteristics of the Alere i RSV assay in a point-of-care setting by using direct nasopharyngeal (NP) swab specimens (direct NP) and nasopharyngeal swab specimens eluted and transported in viral transport medium (VTM NP). The study was a prospective, multicenter, clinical trial conducted at 9 sites across the United States to evaluate the clinical performance of the Alere i RSV assay with respiratory specimens obtained from both children (age, <18 years) and older adults (age, >60 years). The performance of the Alere i RSV assay was compared with that of the reference method, the Prodesse ProFlu+ real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) assay. All specimens with discrepant test results were tested further by a second FDA-cleared PCR assay (the Verigene respiratory virus plus nucleic acid test; Luminex Inc., TX). A total of 554 subjects with signs and symptoms of respiratory infections were enrolled, and respiratory samples were collected in this study. In comparison with the ProFlu+ real-time RT-PCR, the overall sensitivity and specificity of Alere i RSV assay for the detection of RSV were 98.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 94.4 to 99.7%) and 98.0% (95% CI, 95.8 to 99.1%), respectively, for direct NP and 98.6% (95% CI, 94.4 to 99.7%) and 97.8% (95% CI, 95.5 to 98.9%), respectively, for VTM NP. The Alere i RSV is a highly sensitive and specific molecular assay ideal for rapid RSV detection in patients in the point-of-care setting due to its minimal hands-on time and rapid result availability.

Keywords: automation; nucleic acid amplification; point-of-care testing; respiratory syncytial virus; sample to answer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / standards*
  • Nasopharynx / virology
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human / genetics*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / standards
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Specimen Handling