Get access

Clinical evaluation of multiplex real-time PCR panels for rapid detection of respiratory viral infections

Authors

  • Sonali K. Sanghavi,

    1. Clinical Virology Laboratory, Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Current affiliation:
    1. King Edward Memorial Hospital, Microbiology Laboratory, Sardar Moodliar Road, Rasta Peth, Pune 411011, India.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Arlene Bullotta,

    1. Clinical Virology Laboratory, Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Shahid Husain,

    1. Transplant Infectious Diseases, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Current affiliation:
    1. Assistant Professor of Medicine; Director, Multi-Organ Transplant Infectious Diseases, University Health Network, NCSB 11C-1206, 585 University Avenue Toronto, ON Canada M5G 2N2.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Charles R. Rinaldo

    Corresponding author
    1. Clinical Virology Laboratory, Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    • UPMC Presbyterian, Clinical Virology Laboratory, A-Wing, Room A912, 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Respiratory viral infections are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality, particularly in children, the elderly and immunocompromised persons. Rapid identification of viral etiology is critical in ruling out non-viral infections, initiating antiviral treatment and limiting the spread of the infection. Multiplex assays of more than one viral gene target in a single tube have the advantage of rapid screening of a large number of potential viral pathogens in a short time. A multiplex real-time PCR assay was used in this study for detection of respiratory RNA and DNA viral infections in 728 specimens received from 585 adult and pediatric patients comprised of symptomatic and asymptomatic organ transplant recipients and non-recipients for diagnosis of respiratory illnesses and for routine clinical monitoring. Multiplex PCR was more sensitive than the multiplex immunofluoresence culture assay (R-mix) and also detected additional respiratory viruses that were not covered by the R-mix panel. The number of respiratory viruses detected in symptomatic patients was significantly higher than asymptomatic patients in both adult and pediatric patients. Herpesviral infections were the predominant cause of lower respiratory tract infection in the organ transplant recipients, whereas respiratory syncytial virus was the most common pathogen in non-transplant patients particularly children. Multiplex real-time PCR for detection of respiratory viruses has the potential for rapid identification of viral pathogens. In this era of emerging viral infections, addition of newer viral targets to the multiplex PCR panels will be beneficial in determining both patient management and public health epidemiology. J. Med. Virol. 84:162–169, 2011. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Ancillary