Nancy A. Melville

May 21, 2012

May 21, 2012 (Thessaloniki, Greece) — A novel antigen detection test shows efficacy in rapidly identifying a variety of respiratory viruses at the point of care in a pediatric setting, according to research presented here at the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID) 30th Annual Meeting.

The automated, multianalyte system, called MariPOC (ArcDia, Turku, Finland), is capable of detecting 8 respiratory viruses — respiratory syncytial virus (RSV); influenza A and B viruses; adenovirus; parainfluenza type 1, 2, and 3 viruses; and human metapneumovirus — from a single nasopharyngeal swab specimen.

To evaluate the technology's efficacy in a pediatric emergency setting, researchers with Turku University Hospital in Finland tested samples from 158 children (mean age, 1.8 years) who had respiratory symptoms or fever. The samples were tested by MariPOC as well as by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

Results with the MariPOC test showed sensitivities and specificities for viral detection as follows: RSV, 83% and 99% (n = 36); influenza B, 85% and 96% (n = 20); influenza A, 50% and 99% (n = 6); adenovirus, 25% and 97% (n = 12); and metapneumovirus, 50% and 100% (n = 8).

"The rapid etiological diagnosis of a respiratory virus infection has an important potential impact on how we cohort our patients, how we treat our patients — especially those with influenza, and on our clinical judgment," said lead author Lauri Ivaska, MD, from Turku University Hospital's Department of Pediatrics, Turku, Finland.

"For these purposes we want to make the diagnosis reliable, easy and fast; however, most point-of-care tests for detection of respiratory viruses have limitations in diagnostic performance and clinical usability."

"This test is based on fully automated random access immunoassay and delivers preliminary results in 20 minutes and final results in 2 hours," Dr. Ivaska said. "Approximately 70% of results are ready in 20 minutes."

The results indicate that whereas sensitivity for influenza and RSV was moderately good, sensitivity for adenovirus was low, Dr. Ivaska said.

The goal of providing a method capable of detecting the multiple viruses at once is commendable, but Dominique Gendrel, MD, PhD, who moderated the session, questioned its ability to match the efficacy of other tests in areas such as influenza.

"The aim of this work was interesting — to have a multiplex method focused on antigens to determine several respiratory viruses," said Dr. Gendrel, chief of General Pediatrics at Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades in Paris, France.

"It would be major progress with utilization [as a] bedside test or in [the] emergency room," he continued. "But the sensitivity is not excellent when compared with RT-PCR for RSV and influenza. For these two viruses, several rapid tests with good sensitivity do exist."

Drs. Ivaska and Gendrel have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID) 30th Annual Meeting Abstract #31. Presented May 10, 2012.


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