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New Test for Influenza Virus, Types A & B, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) by PCR

A message from Edwin S. Monuki, MD, PhD, Chair, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Cassiana Bittencourt, MD, Director, Division of Medical Microbiology


Purpose:

To inform all physicians and clinics that on Oct. 23, 2017, the microbiology division switched to the Xpert Xpress Flu/RSV assay. The previous Xpert Flu/RSV XC test is no longer being manufactured. The new assay has been redesigned to provide extended strain coverage that anticipates seasonal drift of the influenza virus, and exhibits the same high levels of specificity and sensitivity as the previous Xpert Flu/RSV XC assay.

The accepted specimen type is nasopharyngeal swabs (notice: nasopharyngeal wash or aspirates were not validated by the manufacturer). The specimen must be collected and transported in Copan Universal Transport Medium (UTM kit is available in microbiology).

The turn-around time is one hour for STAT (Nov. 1 – April 30) and 12 hours for routine.

A summary of all influenza and RSV diagnostic tests available in the microbiology division can be found here: http://www.pathology.uci.edu/services/.

Edwin Monuki, MD, PhD
Chair, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Cassiana Bittencourt, MD
Director, Division of Medical Microbiology