Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) triggers disease with nonspecific symptoms that overlap those of infections caused by other seasonal respiratory viruses (RVs), such as the influenza virus (Flu) or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). A molecular assay for accurate and rapid detection of RV and SARS-CoV-2 is crucial to manage these infections. Here, we compared the analytical performance and clinical reliability of Allplex™ SARS-CoV-2/FluA/FluB/RSV (SC2FabR; Seegene Inc., Seoul, South Korea) kit with those of four commercially available RV detection kits. Upon testing five target viral strains (SARS-CoV-2, FluA, FluB, RSV A, and RSV B), the analytical performance of SC2FabR was similar to that of the other kits, with no significant difference (p ≥ 0.78) in z-scores. The efficiency of SC2FabR (E-value, 81-104%) enabled reliable SARS-CoV-2 and seasonal RV detection in 888 nasopharyngeal swab specimens processed using a fully automated nucleic acid extraction platform. Bland-Altman analyses revealed an agreement value of 95.4% (SD ± 1.96) for the kits, indicating statistically similar results for all five. In conclusion, SC2FabR is a rapid and accurate diagnostic tool for both SARS-CoV-2 and seasonal RV detection, allowing for high-throughput RV analysis with efficiency comparable to that of commercially available kits. This can be used to help manage respiratory infections in patients during and after the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; influenza virus; respiratory syncytial virus; simultaneous detection.