Detection of respiratory viruses using a multiplex real-time PCR assay in Germany, 2009/10.

S. Bierbaum, J. Forster, R. Berner, G. Rucker, G. Rohde, D. Neumann-Haefelin, M. Panning

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The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of respiratory viruses and to prospectively evaluate the performance of the fast-track diagnostics (FTD) respiratory pathogens multiplex PCR assay shortly after the 2009/10 influenza pandemic. Highly sensitive monoplex real-time PCR assays served as references. Discrepant results were further analyzed by the xTAG RVP Fast assay. A total of 369 respiratory samples from children and adults were collected prospectively in Germany from December 2009 until June 2010. The sensitivity and specificity of the FTD assay after resolution of discrepant results was 92.2 % and 99.5 %, respectively. Lowest specificity of the FTD assay was observed for human bocavirus. Multiple detections were recorded in 33/369 (8.9 %) of the samples by monoplex PCR and in 43/369 (11.7 %) using the FTD assay. The most prevalent viruses were respiratory syncytial virus and human metapneumovirus. Only pandemic influenza virus A/H1N1 (2009), and not seasonal influenza virus, was detected. Viruses other than influenza virus accounted for the majority of acute respiratory infections. The FTD assay can be easily implemented in general diagnostic laboratories and facilitate the optimization of patient-management schemes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-676
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Virology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • RT-PCR

Cite this

Bierbaum, S., Forster, J., Berner, R., Rucker, G., Rohde, G., Neumann-Haefelin, D., & Panning, M. (2014). Detection of respiratory viruses using a multiplex real-time PCR assay in Germany, 2009/10. Archives of Virology, 159(4), 669-676.