A recent research study compared the effectiveness of three commercial multiplex respiratory virus polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays and conventional assays for detection of respiratory viruses and swine-origin 2009 A (H1N1) influenza virus in children.

Results from research conducted at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) demonstrated that Seeplex® diagnostic technology from Seegene had increased sensitivity in comparison to direct fluorescent antibody testing (DFA) and viral culture. The results also showed the test provided excellent specificity.

For the detection of respiratory viruses from positive specimens, Seeplex was shown to consistently outperform competitive PCR assays.
"Multiplex testing offers rapid, comprehensive viral respiratory detection in a single test with high sensitivity and specificity," according to the authors in their conclusions published in a poster presented at the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology, held in Daytona Beach, Florida, April 2010.

"Moreover, newer targets can be added to multiplex assays which combined with high throughput analysis capabilities make these assays extremely versatile, sensitive, cost-effective and time-saving diagnostic tools," stated the authors in their discussion of results from the trial.
The study was designed to directly compare the effectiveness of three commercial PCR viral respiratory panel assays with DFA and viral culture for the detection of common respiratory viruses in children.

According to the authors of the study, the majority of acute respiratory tract infections are frequently caused by respiratory viruses that generate similar clinical symptoms, making an etiologic diagnosis based on symptoms impossible. Because of their sensitivity and specificity, nucleic acid amplification assays are rapidly emerging as the preferred methods of diagnostic testing over antigen detection methods, and in most cases over conventional culture methods.

From November 2007 to April 2008 and from January 2009 to March 2009 a total of 750 nasopharyngeal swabs were randomly selected from children with respiratory symptoms.

In a second arm of the same study, to assess the value of commercial multiplex real-time PCR assays for detection of swine-origin 2009 A (H1N1) influenza virus, 75 nasopharyngeal swabs were selected from children with respiratory symptoms from May 2009 to December 2009.

The study specifically cited the superiority of the Seeplex assay against the conventional DFA test where Seeplex increased sensitivity from 38.1% in to 100% for adenovirus (ADV), a 2.6 times increase.

Jong-Yoon Chun, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Seegene, said the validation of the Seeplex technology was "extremely gratifying, yet even greater is the satisfaction of knowing Seeplex tests help to more quickly identify viruses in hospitalized children so that clinicians can rapidly direct effective care and achieve successful outcomes."

"The cost effectiveness demonstrated by this technology also is perfectly aligned with the needs of the Canadian healthcare system to deliver higher levels of efficiency and effectiveness," he added.

Source: Seegene