Testing for Swine Flu

Friday, October 29, 2010 // Uncategorized

4/27/2009 11:11:52 PM

Here are some interesting facts on testing for Swine Flu.  In particular, I would note that rapid tests are of uncertain accuracy and are not recommended.

Recommended Tests
Real-time RT-PCR for influenza A, B, H1, H3 at a state or local health department laboratory is
recommended. Currently, swine influenza A (H1N1) virus will test positive for influenza A and negative
for H1 and H3 by real-time RT-PCR. If reactivity of real-time RT-PCR for influenza A is strong (e.g. Ct
<30) it is more suggestive of a novel influenza A virus. Confirmation as swine influenza A (H1N1) virus
is performed at CDC.
Other influenza tests:
Rapid influenza antigen test: Caution should be exercised in interpretation of results of rapid antigen
testing. These tests have unknown sensitivity and specificity to detect human infection with swine
influenza A (H1N1) virus in clinical specimens, and have suboptimal sensitivity to detect seasonal
influenza viruses. Therefore, at this time, the use of these tests is not recommended for diagnosis of swine
influenza A (H1N1) virus.


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