When a patient presents for an acute visit with influenza-like symptoms, timing for diagnosis is critical. But distinguishing between different types of infection—and making a differential diagnosis—can be challenging. Influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), other viruses, and some types of bacterial infection can all share similar symptoms.
Evidence is increasing that molecular viral panel tests are preferable to traditional virus detection methods (e.g., culture, rapid antigen detection test [RADT], direct fluorescent antibody) due to1:
Molecular respiratory virus and pathogen panels can help you differentiate bacterial from viral infections and reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing that can lead to rising rates of antimicrobial resistance.1 The panels can also help you diagnose some infections that have been commonly missed.2
Read this information sheet to learn more about molecular respiratory virus and pathogen panels that can help clinicians rapidly identify the pathogen causing a patient’s illness, allowing therapy to be tailored; this includes adding or discontinuing antibiotic therapy as indicated. Inappropriate antibiotic therapy can contribute to antimicrobial resistance, one of the biggest public health challenges of our time.3
1. Ginocchio C, McAdam A. Current best practices for respiratory virus testing. J Clin Microbiol. 2011:49(9 Suppl);S44-S48.
2. Ramanan P, Bryson AL, Binnicker MJ, et al. Syndromic panel-based testing in clinical microbiology. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2018;31(1):e00024-17.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotic/antimicrobial resistance (AR/AMR): biggest threats and data. November 26, 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/biggest_threats.html. Accessed December 13, 2018.
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