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Sensitivity of Respiratory Virus Culture When Screening with R-Mix Fresh Cells

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American Society for Microbiology
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PMC
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Abstract

Use of R-Mix Fresh Cells has been shown to be a rapid and sensitive method for the detection and identification of respiratory viruses. We prospectively evaluated the impact of incorporation of R-Mix shell vials on the sensitivity and time to detection of seven respiratory viruses recovered in a comprehensive culture during the course of an entire respiratory season in a high-volume clinical laboratory. In this study, R-Mix shell vials were used as part of the culture of 3,803 respiratory specimens. A total of 428 respiratory viruses were recovered. Staining of R-Mix vials after overnight incubation allowed initial detection of 274 of 279 influenza viruses, 33 of 38 parainfluenza viruses, 35 of 51 adenoviruses, and 52 of 60 respiratory syncytial viruses (RSVs). The time to reporting of all positive cultures after in-lab specimen receipt was 2.9 days on average and those initially detected in R-Mix cells were reported in 2.3 days on average. A combination of direct fluorescent-antibody (DFA) staining and virus culture was performed on a subset of 711 respiratory specimens. Of 152 viruses identified, 57 were observed only with DFA testing (55 RSV and 2 influenza A viruses) and 31 were recovered only in cell culture. After overnight incubation, R-Mix cells detected 87.1% of respiratory viruses not observed by DFA testing and 96.9% of viruses positive by both methods. The sensitivities of DFA testing and R-Mix cells for identification of influenza viruses were 70.5% and 96.7%, respectively. The R-Mix method detected influenza virus in 18 samples that were negative by DFA testing.

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