Introduction The influenza A (H1N1) 2009 outbreak caused death and a disruption of public health services. Rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDT) could be helpful to ease the triage of patients and prevent an overload of emergency and laboratory facilities.
Objectives To compare the sensitivity and specificity of the Clearview Exact Influenza A&B test and real-time reverse transcription(RT)–PCR to detect influenza A (H1N1) 2009 in a paediatric emergency department of a paediatric teaching hospital in Paris, France.
Methods 76 children with an influenza-like illness and either severe symptoms or an underlying medical condition were prospectively recruited between July 2009 and October 2009. RIDT and RT–PCR were simultaneously performed and compared.
Results Among 39 influenza A (H1N1) 2009 RT–PCR-positive children (median age 5 years), 23 Clearview Exact Influenza A&B tests were positive. Sensitivity was 59% (95% CI 42.2 to 74) and specificity was 94.6% (95% CI 80.5 to 99.1).
Conclusions This study shows a sensitivity of RIDT of 59%, in agreement with other prospective studies, which could be useful in clinical practice for diagnosis influenza A (H1N1) 2009 in children. In outbreaks of a high prevalence, such as the 2009 outbreak, this test can help to prevent an overload of public health services.
- Antigen test
- cardiac care
- emergency care systems
- emergency departments
- infectious diseases
- paediatric emergency medicine
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Competing interests None.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Comité d'Evaluation de l'Ethique des projets de Recherche Biomédicale (CEERB) du GHU Nord (institutional review board (no IRB00006477) of Paris North Hospitals, Paris 7 University, AP-HP).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.