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Performance of Binax NOW Flu A and B and direct fluorescent assay in comparison with a composite of viral culture or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction for detection of influenza infection during the 2006 to 2007 season

Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women's Health, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555-0587, USA.
Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease (Impact Factor: 2.57). 12/2007; 62(2):162-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2007.10.012
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Binax NOW Flu A and Flu B (Binax NOW), direct fluorescent assay (DFA), and viral culture were evaluated and compared with a composite of viral culture or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Participants with medically attended acute respiratory illness were identified through active surveillance during the 2006 to 2007 season, and consenting individuals (n=932) were tested for influenza by culture and RT-PCR. Physicians ordered a rapid antigen test (Binax NOW [n=73] or DFA [n=70]) according to their clinical judgment. The Binax NOW detected 11 of 18 influenza infections (sensitivity, 61%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 36-83%), whereas DFA detected 17 of 21 influenza infections (sensitivity 81%, 95% CI, 58-95%). Compared with culture/RT-PCR, specificity of both Binax NOW and DFA was 100%. During the 2006 to 2007 influenza season, DFA and Binax NOW demonstrated high specificity but failed to identify a substantial proportion of influenza infections.

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