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Respiratory Viral Pathogen PCR Testing

Respiratory Viral Pathogen PCR Testing


In Australia, the arrival of the winter months often sees a spike in respiratory disease among the population, with the young, the elderly and patients with compromised cardiac, pulmonary or immune systems at greatest risk of serious disease.

Approximately 15% of pneumonias in children are caused by Parainfluenza Virus whilst an additional 20% are due to Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infection. RSV is the most commonly identified agent in 75% of children under two years of age who are hospitalised for bronchiolitis. Early identification is vital to support more timely clinical management and minimize progression to more serious illness. Australian Clinical Labs WA is now offering a Molecular Respiratory viral assay that detects up to 10 viral respiratory pathogens improving identification of the causative agent and allowing the clinician to initiate appropriate treatment in a more timely manner.

  >> RAPID TEST >>    
What to request: “Rapid Flu” “Respiratory Viral
PCR Screen”
“Respiratory Viral and
Bacterial PCR Screen”
Turnaround time: < 2 hrs 24- 48 hrs > 24 - 72 hrs
Tests included: Influenza A & B Antigen Influenza A & B Influenza A & B
    RSV RSV (A&B)
    Parainfluenza 1, 2, 3, & 4 Parainfluenza 1, 2 & 3
    Human Metapneumovirus Human Metapneumovirus
    Human Adenovirus Human Adenovirus
    Human Rhinovirus Human Enterovirus/Rhinovirus
      Mycoplasma pneumoniae
      Bordetella pertussis

Available to hospitals with
Emergency Departments only

  Bordetella parapertussis

Benefits to the patient

Assists in the specific and rapid diagnosis of acute respiratory tract infections.
• Increased assay specificity and sensitivity improves the accuracy and speed of diagnosis.
• Enables the clinician to initiate early targeted treatment of viral or bacterial infections avoiding inappropriate antibiotic therapy.

Test ordering

Our respiratory viral assay is performed Monday - Friday, with Rapid Flu 7 days a week out of the Murdoch and Midland
Laboratory. To assist the laboratory during flu outbreaks, please limit testing to suspected pathogens to ensure rapid result delivery. Please see above table on ‘what to request’.

Available in WA from August 2018

Samples required (One of the below)

• Nose/throat or nasopharyngeal swab(s) (must use dry flocked swab) or UTM (Universal Transport Medium by BD or COPAN) or
• Nasopharyngeal/tracheal aspirates or
• Sputum
• Broncho alveolar lavages/washes.