ViraCor-IBT Laboratories today launched a new, comprehensive influenza and respiratory virus testing service that will assist physicians in detecting a range of respiratory viruses including 2009 Influenza A H1N1, or “swine flu,” as well as other influenza subtypes and common respiratory viruses such as rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (HMPV). The ViraCor-IBT testing service will assist physicians in rapidly identifying the cause of an infection. By reporting results on the same day that a sample is received, the service will improve patient care, reduce unnecessary use of antivirals, and reduce hospital costs.
“Correctly diagnosing a respiratory viral infection from a patient’s symptoms alone is very difficult because most respiratory viruses cause very similar symptoms. The only way to be certain which pathogen is causing the infection is to run a laboratory test,” said Steve Kleiboeker, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer for the combined ViraCor-IBT Laboratories. “With the emergence of antiviral-resistant viruses and new pathogens such as the pandemic Influenza A H1N1, testing for respiratory viruses has never been more important.”
The suite of tests available as part of the ViraCor-IBT influenza and respiratory virus testing service includes four tests:
1. The xTAG Respiratory Viral Panel (RVP)
2. A test specifically designed to detect 2009 Influenza A H1N1
3. A test to help physicians detect and distinguish between the Influenza A H1 and Influenza A H3 subtypes, which are the likely cause of this year’s “seasonal flu”
4. A test that identifies drug resistant mutations of 2009 Influenza A H1N1
xTAG RVP is a unique molecular test that simultaneously detects 12 viral targets with one patient sample. ViraCor was the first national reference laboratory to adopt this test when it was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2008. The test detects major respiratory viruses including RSV A and B; Influenza A and B; parainfluenza types 1, 2 and 3; human metapneumovirus; rhinovirus and adenovirus.
The ViraCor-IBT 2009 Influenza A H1N1 test was developed in the company’s laboratories and will assist doctors in determining if a patient is carrying the pandemic Influenza A H1N1 virus. The test first identifies the presence of Influenza A and then determines infection by 2009 Influenza A H1N1. This test was validated with samples confirmed to contain 2009 Influenza A H1N1 by public health laboratories, such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
ViraCor-IBT’s Influenza A H1 and H3 subtyping test, which also was developed in the company’s laboratories, assists physicians in distinguishing between the two most common seasonal Influenza A subtypes so that the correct antiviral can be prescribed to a patient.
The 2009 Influenza A H1N1 Antiviral Resistance test is designed to detect mutations of the pandemic Influenza strain that are resistant to oseltamivir (Tamiflu®). CDC recently reported cases of immunocompromised patients who were carrying oseltamivir-resistant mutations of 2009 Influenza A H1N1. ViraCor-IBT’s test will allow physicians to identify mutations of the Influenza A H1N1 virus that convey resistance to oseltamivir.
The new testing service offers physicians and laboratories several ordering options, including reflex testing, which allows ViraCor-IBT to perform a needed second test without having to re-contact the ordering physician.
“ViraCor-IBT is committed to providing hospitals and physicians the most advanced testing options along with the fastest turnaround time of patient results in the industry,” said John Martin, president of the combined ViraCor-IBT Laboratories. “As we head into an unpredictable flu season, we are pleased to offer not only a high quality molecular H1N1 test, but three additional assays that will give our clients the tools and information they need to help diagnose and treat influenza and other respiratory illnesses and provide the best possible patient care.”
All of ViraCor-IBT’s respiratory virus testing options will be available as of September 1, 2009, with the exception of the 2009 Influenza A H1N1 Antiviral Resistance test, which will be available later in the month. To learn more about the influenza and respiratory virus testing service, please visit www.viracor-ibt.com.