Moore C, Hibbitts S, Owen N, Corden SA, Harrison G, Fox J, Gelder C, Westmoreland D. Development and evaluation of a real-time nucleic acid sequence based amplification assay for rapid detection of influenza A. J Med Virol. 2004 Oct 13;74(4):619-628
The development and introduction of effective treatment for influenza A in the form of neuraminidase inhibitors have made the rapid diagnosis of infection important especially in high-risk populations. The aim of this study was to develop a real-time nucleic acid sequenced based amplification (NASBA) using a molecular beacon that could detect a wide range of influenza A subtypes and strains in a single reaction by targeting a conserved region of the influenza genome, and to evaluate its sensitivity and specificity against traditional laboratory techniques on a range of clinical samples usefulness during the 2003/2004 influenza season. The results demonstrated the assay to be highly sensitive and specific, detecting <0.1 TCID(50) of virus stock. Three hundred eighty-nine clinical samples were tested in total from two patient groups. Overall, the real-time NASBA assay detected 64% (66/103) more influenza positive samples than cell culture and direct immunofluorescence (IF) and, therefore, was shown to be more sensitive in detecting influenza A in a wide range of respiratory samples than traditional methods. In conclusion, the real-time influenza A assay demonstrated clinical usefulness in both hospital and community populations. J. Med. Virol. 74:619-628, 2004. (c) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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