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Rapid identification viruses from nasal pharyngeal aspirates in acute viral respiratory infections by RT-PCR and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry 

Abstract

Objective

Diagnosis of the etiologic agent of respiratory viral infection relies traditionally on culture or antigen detection. This pilot evaluation compared performance characteristics of the RT-PCR and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (RT-PCR/ESI-MS) platform to conventional virologic methods for identifying multiple clinically relevant respiratory viruses in nasopharyngeal aspirates. The RT-PCR/ESI-MS respiratory virus surveillance kit was designed to detect respiratory syncytial virus, influenza A and B, parainfluenza types 1-4, adenoviridae types A-F, coronaviridae, human bocavirus, and human metapneumovirus. Patients (N= 192) attending an emergency department during the 2007-2008 respiratory season consented, and "excess" frozen archived nasopharyngeal aspirates were analysed; 46 were positive by conventional virology and 69 by RT-PCR/ESI-MS, among which there were six samples with multiple viral pathogens detected. The sensitivity and specificity of the assay were 89.1% and 80.3%, respectively. Additional viruses that were not identified by conventional virology assays were detected (4 human bocaviruses and 7 coronaviruses). Samples in which the RT-PCR/ESI-MS results disagreed with conventional virology were sent for analysis by a third method using a commercial RT-PCR-based assay, which can identify viruses not detectable by conventional virologic procedures. Time to first result of RT-PCR/ESI-MS was 8 h. RT-PCR/ESI-MS demonstrated capacity to detect respiratory viruses identifiable and unidentifiable by conventional methods rapidly.

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Principal Investigator(s) and Researchers(s)

Charlotte Gaydos, Dr.Ph., M.P.H., MS

Principal Investigator, PACER

Richard E. Rothman, M.D., Ph.D.

Principal Investigator, PACER