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Test Detects 12 Types of Respiratory Viruses

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Talk about a "shotgun workup" -- this is a test which simultaneously looks for presence of 12 viruses that infect the human respiratory tract.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has just approved the xTAG Respiratory Viral Panel, which with a single patient sample, can detect 12 separate viruses in a few hours. These tests previously required several days. This test might help identify patient with viral infections earlier. Patients with viral respiratory infections are frequently misdiagnosed as having bacterial pneumonia. Earlier and more accurate diagnosis might prevent the use of ineffective antibotics -- used to treat bacteria -- and allow the earlier use of antiviral agents.

According to the press release, the xTAG Respiratory Viral Panel tests for
-- Influenza A, influenza A-H1, influenza A-H3 and influenza B,
which cause the majority of flu cases in the U.S.;

-- Adenovirus, which is responsible for approximately 10 percent
of respiratory infections and a subtype of which the Centers
for Disease Control (CDC) have recently identified as causing
multiple deaths;

-- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) A and B, the most common
cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in infants and children;

-- Metapneumovirus, a recently-discovered virus that causes
flu-like symptoms and is thought to be the second leading
cause of respiratory infection in children;

-- Parainfluenza 1, 2, and 3, which can cause upper or lower
respiratory infections in adults and children and, are thought
to be responsible for about half of croup cases and 10-15
percent of bronchiolitis and bronchitis cases; and

-- Rhinovirus, which causes the common cold.
The xTag Respiratory Viral Panel is the first multiplexed nucleic acid test for respiratory viruses approved by the FDA.
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About the Author


MD, FACP, FASN

Dr. Schwimmer's blog explores the intersection of medicine, new technologies, and the Internet.

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