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Application of Directigen FLU-A for the detection of influenza A virus in human and nonhuman specimens.

By K A Ryan-Poirier, J M Katz, R G Webster and Y Kawaoka

Abstract

Directigen FLU-A, a new enzyme immunoassay membrane test, rapidly detects influenza A virus antigen in specimens from patients. Nasopharyngeal washes and pharyngeal gargles were used to determine the effectiveness of the assay as applied to different types of routinely collected clinical samples. All specimens had been previously shown to contain influenza A virus by virus isolation in tissue culture. Directigen FLU-A was 90% sensitive (95% confidence interval, 56 to 99.7%) with nasopharyngeal washes but only 39% sensitive (95% confidence interval, 17 to 64%) with pharyngeal gargles (P = 0.018) when used with samples containing similar amounts of infectious virus (50% tissue culture infective dose, 1.0 to 4.5). The intensity of the positive reaction with Directigen FLU-A did not correlate with the amount of virus in the specimens. Directigen FLU-A was found to detect cell-associated antigen more readily than free virus; only 20 infected cells were required to identify cell-associated influenza A virus antigen, whereas the limit of detection for free virus was 1.63 x 10(3) infectious virus particles. These findings suggest that Directigen FLU-A detects the cell-associated antigen present in clinical specimens rather than free virus. In addition, Directigen FLU-A detected avian and swine influenza A viruses in both cloacal swabs (75% sensitivity) and swine lung homogenates (86% sensitivity), indicating its potential usefulness in the surveillance of nonhuman influenza A viruses

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1992
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:265226
Provided by: PubMed Central
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