New rapid test to diagnose respiratory syncytial virus

November 1, 2010

Diagnosing respiratory syncytial virus is a challenge because its symptoms are similar to other respiratory illnesses.

Diagnosing respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a challenge because its symptoms are similar to other respiratory illnesses. A new diagnostic test, QuickVue RSV 10 (Quidel Corp), is available to help quickly diagnose RSV in children younger than 6 years old. The test is approved as an aid in the rapid diagnosis of acute RSV infection.

The dipstick test detects the RSV antigen directly from nasopharyngeal swab and aspirate/wash specimens. The same sample can be used to test for influenza using the QuickVue Influenza A+B test.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends confirming negative results with a cell culture. A negative result should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or other management decisions.