Evaluation of fast-track diagnostics and TaqMan array card real-time PCR assays for the detection of respiratory pathogens

Amanda J. Driscoll, Ruth A. Karron, Niranjan Bhat, Bhagvanji Thumar, Maja Kodani, Barry S. Fields, Cynthia G. Whitney, Orin S. Levine, Katherine L. O'Brien, David R. Murdoch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Several commercial assays are now available to detect the nucleic acid of multiple respiratory pathogens from a single specimen. Head-to-head comparisons of such assays using a single set of standard specimens provide additional information about key assay parameters such as sensitivity, specificity and lower limits of detection, and help to inform the decision regarding which method to use. We evaluated two real-time PCR platforms: the Fast-track Diagnostics® (FTD) multiplex respiratory panel and a TaqMan array card (TAC) for simultaneous uniplex detection of multiple respiratory pathogens. Two sets of samples were used to evaluate the assays. One set was created by spiking pooled nasal wash or phosphate buffered saline with specified volumes of known concentrations of virus and/or bacteria. Clinical nasal wash specimens from children with lower respiratory tract illness comprised the other set. Thirteen pathogen targets were compared between the two platforms. Testing with a validation panel of spiked samples revealed a sensitivity of 96.1% and 92.9% for the FTD and TAC assays, respectively. Specificity could not be reliably calculated due to a suspected contamination of the sample substrate. Inter-assay agreement was high (> 95%) for most targets. Previously untested clinical specimens tested by both assays revealed a high percent agreement (> 95%) for all except rhinovirus, enterovirus and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Limitations of this evaluation included extraction of the validation samples by two different methods and the evaluation of the assays in different laboratories. However, neither of these factors significantly impacted inter-assay agreement for these sets of samples, and it was demonstrated that both assays could reliably detect clinically relevant concentrations of bacterial and viral pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-226
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Microbiological Methods
Volume107
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

Keywords

  • ALRI
  • Diagnostics
  • Molecular
  • PCR
  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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