Evaluation of a new point-of-care test for influenza A and B virus in travellers with influenza-like symptoms.

Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Charité, University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
Clinical Microbiology and Infection (Impact Factor: 5.2). 08/2007; 13(7):665-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2007.01739.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Point-of-care (POC) tests for influenza facilitate clinical case management, and might also be helpful in the care of travellers who are at special risk for influenza infection. To evaluate influenza POC testing in travellers, a new assay, the ImmunoCard STAT! Flu A and B, was used to investigate travellers presenting with influenza-like symptoms. Influenza virus infection was diagnosed in 27 (13%) of 203 patients by influenza virus-specific PCR and viral culture. The POC test had sensitivity and specificity values of 64% and 99% for influenza A, and 67% and 100% for influenza B, respectively. Combined sensitivity and specificity were 67% and 99%, respectively, yielding positive and negative predictive values of 95%, and positive and negative likelihood ratios of 117 and 0.34, respectively. The convenient application, excellent specificity and high positive likelihood ratio of the POC test allowed rapid identification of influenza cases. However, negative test results might require confirmation by other methods because of limitations in sensitivity. Overall, influenza POC testing appeared to be a useful tool for the management of travellers with influenza-like symptoms.