Diagnostic performance of multiplex nucleic acid testing of bronchoalveolar lavage and bronchial wash specimens for respiratory viral pathogens

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Abstract

There is limited knowledge on the yield of performing multiplex nucleic acid testing (NAT) on multiple lower respiratory tract specimens from a single patient with a single instance of infection. We evaluated the performance characteristics of multiplex NAT assays performed concurrently on bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and bronchial wash (BW) specimens to detect respiratory pathogens. A retrospective study of admitted patients from March 2013 through December 2016 was performed. Individual performance characteristics of BAL and BW specimens were compared to positive results from either set of specimens. Only contemporaneous BAL and BW specimens (received by the laboratory within 4 h of each other) were included. The final cohort included 170 patients, with 184 contemporaneous BAL and BW specimens submitted for multiplex NAT (median age, 58 years; 62% male). Of the patients with positive NAT results, 38 of 40 BW specimens tested positive (overall percent agreement with combined testing, 98.9%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 95.5 to 98.9%), and 34 of 40 BAL specimens tested positive (overall percent agreement with combined testing, 96.7%; 95% CI, 93.0 to 96.7%). Assays performed on BW specimens identified 4 additional specimens and had a higher positive percent agreement (95.0%) with combined testing results compared to those performed on BAL specimens (85.0%). There was exact concordance in 174 specimens (94.6%; negative and positive for respiratory pathogens, 144 and 34 specimens, respectively). We observed high concordance (95%) between multiplex NAT results from contemporaneous BAL and BW specimens. Performance characteristics of BW specimen testing were equivalent to those of BAL specimen testing. The benefit of performing additional testing should be carefully considered against the potential complications and health care costs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00973
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Volume56
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Multiplex
  • Respiratory Viruses
  • Virus testing

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