Background: Influenza places a significant burden on global health and economics. Individual case management and public health efforts to mitigate the spread of influenza are both strongly impacted by our ability to accurately and efficiently detect influenza viruses in clinical samples. Therefore, it is important to understand the performance characteristics of available assays to detect influenza in a variety of settings. We provide the first report of relative performance between two products marketed to streamline detection of influenza virus in the context of a highly controlled volunteer influenza challenge study.
Methods: Nasopharyngeal swab samples were collected during a controlled A/California/2009/H1N1 influenza challenge study and analyzed for detection of virus shedding using a validated qRT-PCR (qPCR) assay, a sample-to-answer qRT-PCR device (BioMerieux BioFire FilmArray RP), and an immunoassay based rapid test kit (Quidel QuickVue Influenza A + B Test).
Results: Relative to qPCR, the sensitivity and specificity of the BioFire assay was 72.1% [63.7-79.5%, 95% confidence interval (CI)] and 93.5% (89.3-96.4%, 95% CI) respectively. For the QuickVue rapid test the sensitivity was 8.5% (4.8-13.7%, 95% CI) and specificity was 99.2% (95.6-100%, 95% CI).
Conclusion: Relative to qPCR, the BioFire assay had superior performance compared to rapid test in the context of a controlled influenza challenge study.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02918006.
Keywords: Biofire film array; H1N1; Influenza; QPCR; RIDT; Rapid influenza diagnostic test; Volunteer influenza challenge study.