FDA has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for a new molecular diagnostic test for both SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza A+B that can return results in 2 to 3 hours. The test, from BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), Franklin Lakes, NJ, has also been CE-marked to the IVD Directive (98/79/EC).

The new EUA includes updated information in the test’s instructions for use that addresses variants of the SARS-COV-2 virus, including variants from the United Kingdom and South Africa. A computer analysis showed that 99.9% of the genetic sequences of these variants are an identical match to at least one of the two molecular targets for the test. This ability to detect these new variants also applies to the standalone SARS-CoV-2 test for the BD Max System. 

The BD SARS-CoV-2/Flu assay is run on the BD Max System and distinguishes between SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza A+B, providing a positive or negative result for each virus using a single specimen. The BD Max System, a molecular diagnostic platform, is already in use at thousands of laboratories worldwide, and each unit is capable of analyzing hundreds of samples over a 24-hour period.

“The guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend testing for both flu and SARS-CoV-2 for all patients who are hospitalized and for patients who will not be hospitalized but for whom a positive result will change clinical management,” says Charles K. Cooper, MD, vice president of Medical and Scientific Affairs for Integrated Diagnostic Solutions at BD. “Since covid-19 and Flu often present with similar symptoms, such as fever and dry cough, having a single specimen for accurate diagnosis speeds time to results and helps clinicians determine the right care more quickly to help prevent community transmission.”

The BD SARS-CoV-2/Flu for BD Max System kits are now available for order in the United States and Europe. The test is the latest addition to the company’s comprehensive covid-19 diagnostics response. In October 2020, BD announced the CE mark for the CerTest Biotec Viasure SARS-CoV-2 (N1 + N2) Real Time PCR Detection Kit, which allows BD Max System users to combine as a single test the Viasure Flu A, Flu B and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Real Time PCR Detection Kit and report concurrently.

“Our diagnostic solutions for COVID-19 and Flu will help inform timely diagnosis and, ultimately, may contribute to faster and clinically appropriate patient management and treatment,” says Dave Hickey, president of Life Sciences for BD. “In addition, the new information provided on the test’s ability to detect the U.K. and South African variants provides helpful guidance to health care practitioners as we look to identify and contain these new strains.”

For more information, visit BD