Respiratory Virus Testing

Spring is well and truly upon us; the weather is warming up and respiratory viruses are moving into their summer phase. Influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) numbers are down to almost nothing and SARS-CoV-2 numbers remain low.

This means that effective Monday 3rd October we will stop routinely performing the SARS-CoV-2/Influenza A+B/RSV multiplex molecular assay on all respiratory virus requests and only test for the virus(es) requested. Please remember to specify on the laboratory form the virus(es) that need to be tested because a blanket request for virus testing will be rejected.

As all the kits available to us for Influenza and RSV have these viruses as combined tests, the testing performed will be as follows:

Respiratory Virus Testing request Respiratory Virus Tests performed and reported
Influenza Influenza A+B / RSV
RSV Influenza A+B / RSV
SARS-CoV-2 / Influenza / RSV SARS-CoV-2 / Influenza A+B / RSV

The “extended respiratory virus” panel will still be available, but specific clinical acceptance criteria still apply and must be documented on the laboratory form.

  • ICU/SCBU patient with unexplained respiratory infection
  • Unexplained respiratory infection in the setting of significant immunocompromise
  • Fever of unclear origin in an infant under 3 months of age
  • Prolonged fever (>72 hours) in paediatric patients
  • Infant with bronchiolitis with persisting O2 requirement or fever after 48hrs
  • Part of diagnostic work-up for Kawasaki Disease
  • Paediatric patient with respiratory infection prior to transfer to Starship
  • Infectious Diseases Specialist request
  • Approval after consultation with Clinical Microbiologist