Performance of rapid influenza diagnostic tests during two school outbreaks of 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus infection - Connecticut, 2009.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2009 Sep 25;58(37):1029-32
During May 2009, a few weeks after 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) infection was first detected in the United States, outbreaks among students from two schools were detected in Greenwich, Connecticut. Staff members from Greenwich Hospital and the Connecticut Department of Public Health collected data on symptoms for 63 patients and submitted nasopharyngeal washings for testing using a rapid influenza diagnostic test (RIDT) for influenza A and B and real-time reverse transcription--polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) assay, thereby affording an opportunity to assess the field performance of the RIDT. A total of 49 patients had infections with pandemic influenza A (H1N1) confirmed by rRT-PCR. This report summarizes the findings from this performance assessment, which indicated that, compared with rRT-PCR, the sensitivity of the RIDT for detecting infection in patients with 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) was 47%, and the specificity was 86%. Sensitivity and specificity did not vary substantially by the presence or absence of CDC-defined influenza-like illness (ILI) or by time from symptom onset to specimen acquisition. In this group of patients, although positive RIDT results performed well in predicting confirmed infection with pandemic H1N1 virus (positive predictive value: 92%), negative tests did not accurately predict the absence of infection (negative predictive value: 32%). These results affirm recent CDC recommendations against using negative RIDT results for management of patients with possible 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) infection.
PMID: 19779397 [PubMed - in process]