Methods: Nasopharyngeal swab and aspirate samples were collected prospectively from 199 patients who presented with ARTIs at the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during a 10-month period. The PCR assay was conducted in parallel with conventional culture and direct IF staining methods.
Results: The positive rate of the xTAG RVP Fast v2 assay (78.4%) in detecting respiratory viruses was higher than that of the viral isolation (7.5%) and direct IF (23.1%) methods. Using the xTAG RVP Fast v2 assay, human enterovirus/human rhinovirus (HEV/HRV) was the most frequently detected (46.2%). The xTAG RVP Fast v2 assay revealed mixed infection caused by two or three respiratory viruses in 40 specimens, and these were undetected by the viral isolation and direct IF methods.
Conclusion: The xTAG RVP Fast v2 assay was superior to conventional methods in the identification of common respiratory viruses, with higher sensitivity and shorter turnaround times for laboratory results.