Performance Assessment of a Rapid Molecular Respiratory Syncytial Virus Point-of-Care Test: A Prospective Community Study in Older Adults

J Infect Dis. 2022 Aug 12;226(Suppl 1):S63-S70. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiab600.


Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes a substantial burden in older adults. Viral load in RSV-infected adults is generally lower compared to young children, which could result in suboptimal sensitivity of RSV diagnostics. Although the Xpert® Xpress Flu/RSV assay has been used in routine clinical care, its sensitivity to diagnose RSV infection in older adults is largely unknown. We aimed to compare the performance of the Xpert® Xpress Flu/RSV assay with real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in home-dwelling older adults (≥60 years of age).

Methods: Nasopharyngeal swabs were tested with Xpert® Xpress Flu/RSV and compared to RSV RT-PCR in older adults with acute respiratory tract infections with different levels of disease severity.

Results: We studied 758 respiratory samples from 561 older adults from 2 consecutive RSV seasons. Thirty-five (4.6%) samples tested positive for RSV by at least 1 of the assays, of which 2 samples were negative by Xpert® Xpress Flu/RSV and 3 samples by real-time RT-PCR. The positive percentage agreement (PPA) was 90.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 76.4%-96.8%) and negative percentage agreement was 99.7% (95% CI, 99.0%-99.9%). Viral loads were low (≤103 copies/mL or cycle threshold value ≥34) in all cases with discordant results for the 2 assays.

Conclusions: The PPA of Xpert® Xpress Flu/RSV compared to routine RT-PCR is high for RSV detection in home-dwelling older adults. The assay is fast and easy to use at the point of care.

Clinical trials registration: NCT03621930.

Keywords: diagnosis; molecular; older adults; point-of-care test; respiratory syncytial virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus* / genetics
  • Influenza B virus / genetics
  • Influenza, Human* / diagnosis
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods
  • Nasopharynx
  • Point-of-Care Testing
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human* / genetics
  • Sensitivity and Specificity

Associated data