BACKGROUND: Diagnosing of influenza rapidly and accurately helps clinicians to initiate appropriate treatment options and isolation protocols. Unnecessary antimicrobial treatment and laboratory testing can also be reduced. Assess commercial alternatives to in-house assays that may not only reduce laboratory technician "hands on" time but also the laboratory turnaround time is of interest.
OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the performance of the VIASURE Flu A, B & RSV Real Time RT-PCR Detection Kit (CerTest Biotec) for detecting Influenza A and B viruses.
STUDY DESIGN: During the 2016/17 influenza season 532 clinical samples were tested with the VIASURE assay on the BD MAX™ system versus an in-house real time RT-PCR assay with discrepant results resolved by a real time RT-PCR assay at a national reference laboratory.
RESULTS: The VIASURE assay on the BD MAX showed a sensitivity of 99.5% (95% CI: 97.3-100) and a specificity of 99.1% (95% CI: 97.4-99.8) for detection of Influenza A virus. The positive predictive and negative predictive values were 98.5% (95% CI: 95.8-99.7) and 99.7% (95% CI: 98.3-100) respectively. Influenza B virus detection could not be evaluated due to a low positivity rate. The BD MAX platform offered the flexibility of several daily runs, shorter hands-on-time and shorter turnaround time than the in-house assay.
CONCLUSIONS: The VIASURE assay on the BD MAX performed well and is now implemented in our clinical laboratory.