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Newly Approved Viral Diagnostic Tested At Beaumont

Armen Hareyan's picture

A new test, the first molecular diagnostic panel to simultaneously detect the most prevalent respiratory viruses, including flu and the common cold, has potential in combating "superbugs."

The test, referred to as the xTAGTM Respiratory Virus Panel, or RVP, was just cleared by the Food and Drug Administration. Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak was one of four hospitals in North America involved in testing the RVP. The speed and reliability of the new test will help prevent the inappropriate treatment of viruses with antibiotics. The overuse of antibiotics contributes to the creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria or "superbugs."

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"The new test will benefit both physicians and patients," says Mark Kolins, M.D., chief of Clinical Pathology, Beaumont, Royal Oak and medical director of the Reference Laboratory. "Symptoms of respiratory disease overlap, making it very difficult to determine if the illness is caused by a virus or bacteria. The RVP will assist in diagnosing respiratory infections quickly and helping doctors recommend appropriate treatments. The test will also identify what types of viruses are circulating in the community. This can assist public health officials in preventing outbreaks."

FDA cleared test kits will be provided for Beaumont's use in about one month.

With a painless, noninvasive throat swab, the test can assess the presence or absence of 12 viruses and viral subtypes and provide results in a matter of hours. Traditional testing requires multiple individual diagnostic tests and can take several days to provide a diagnosis. RVP tests for: