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Performance of rapid SOFIA Influenza A+B test compared to Luminex x-TAG respiratory viral panel assay in the diagnosis of influenza A, B, and subtype H3
  1. W Selove,
  2. L V Rao
  1. Department of Pathology, UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr L V Rao, Department of Hospital Labs/Pathology, Biotech-1, 365 Plantation Street, UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, MA 01605, USA; Lokinendi.Rao{at}


Influenza is an acute respiratory illness caused by influenza A or B viruses that occur in outbreaks, mainly during the winter season. Rapid laboratory diagnosis of influenza can help guide the clinical management of suspected patients effectively. Clinical sensitivities and specificities of the rapid influenza diagnostic tests have varied considerably in the literature. Most of these studies are evaluated using previously frozen or stored specimens that had previously tested positive. This study compares the performance of the rapid SOFIA Influenza A+B test to nucleic acid multiplex test x-TAG respiratory viral panel (RVP) assay in freshly collected nasal aspirates and measured simultaneously by both assays. Retrospective data from 1649 nasal aspirates (September 2014 to May 2015) collected from adults as well as from children tested simultaneously by both rapid SOFIA Influenza A+B FIA immunofluorescence (Quidel, San Diego, CA) and qualitative nucleic acid multiplex RVP assay X-TAG Luminex technology (Luminex, Austin, Texas, USA) were analyzed. Concordance, and analytical sensitivity and specificity were evaluated for influenza A, subtypes H1 and H3, and influenza B. Prevalence for influenza A by RVP was 15%, for subtype H3 it was 11.2%, and for influenza B, 2.9%. None of the aspirates were positive for influenza A subtype H1. SOFIA Influenza rapid test demonstrated good specificity and low sensitivity compared with a nucleic acid test for influenza A, subtype H3, and for influenza B. SOFIA Influenza A + B test performed well in providing a rapid diagnosis, however, confirmatory molecular testing is recommended for negative test results. Re-evaluation of test performance should be periodically carried out during outbreaks with the emergence and circulation of new influenza strains.

  • Biological Markers
  • Clinical Research
  • Disease Management
  • Immunologic Tests
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases

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