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Human Respiratory syncytical virus A/B Detection

RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Infants and older adults are more likely to develop severe RSV and need hospitalization.

  • Fever
  • Wheezing
  • Serious cough
  • Breathing faster than normal or trouble breathing
  • Blue skin color

Test Description

Nasal aspirate or wash. This is the most common way to collect a sample for RSV testing. To do a nasal aspirate, a health care professional will insert a saline solution (salt water) into your nose and remove it with gentle suction. Nasal swab test. A health care professional will use a special swab to take a sample from your nose.

Test Details

Polymerase Chain Reaction Molecular testing (eg, PCR) can detect RSV as well as other respiratory viruses in nasopharyngeal swabs and aspirates with high sensitivity and specificity. Molecular testing is particularly useful in older children and adults and is preferred for hospitalized and immunocompromised patients. PCR is more sensitive than either antigen testing or viral culture. 7 Because of its high sensitivity, it may detect RSV in a patient after the infection has resolved, so a positive result should be clinically correlated with the patient’s symptoms. Additionally, PCR is more expensive than DFA, and the turnaround time may be longer in certain laboratory settings.