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Reliable detection of respiratory syncytial virus infection in children for adequate hospital infection control management

, : Reliable detection of respiratory syncytial virus infection in children for adequate hospital infection control management. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 39(9): 3135-3139

By using a rapid test for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) detection (Abbott TestPack RSV), a number of patients were observed, showing repeatedly positive results over a period of up to 10 weeks. A prospective study was initiated to compare the rapid test with an antigen capture enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and a nested reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) protocol for detection of RSV serotypes A and B. Only respiratory samples from children exhibiting the prolonged presence of RSV (> or =5 days) as determined by the rapid test were considered. A total of 134 specimens from 24 children was investigated by antigen capture EIA and nested RT-PCR. Using RT-PCR as the reference method, we determined the RSV rapid test to have a specificity of 63% and a sensitivity of 66% and the antigen capture EIA to have a specificity of 96% and a sensitivity of 69% for acute-phase samples and the homologous virus serotype A. In 7 (29%) of 24 patients, the positive results of the RSV rapid test could not be confirmed by either nested RT-PCR or antigen capture EIA. In these seven patients a variety of other respiratory viruses were detected. For general screening the RSV rapid test was found to be a reasonable tool to get quick results. However, its lack of specificity in some patients requires confirmation by additional tests to rule out false-positive results and/or detection of other respiratory viruses.


PMID: 11526141

DOI: 10.1128/JCM.39.9.3135-3139.2001

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