Evaluation of a combined MxA and CRP point-of-care immunoassay to identify viral and/or bacterial immune response in patients with acute febrile respiratory infection

Article English OPEN
Sambursky, Robert ; Shapiro, Nathan (2015)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: European Clinical Respiratory Journal, volume 2 (eissn: 2001-8525)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/ecrj.v2.28245, doi: 10.3402/ecrj.v%vi%i.28245, pmc: PMC4676840
  • Subject: CRP | bacteria | immune response | respiratory infection | MxA | Original Research Article | respiratory infection; immunoassay; immune response; virus; bacteria; CRP; MxA; point of care | virus | point-of-care | immunoassay

Background: Challenges in the clinical differentiation of viral and/or bacterial respiratory infection lead to the misappropriation of antibiotics and increased healthcare costs. A tool to facilitate rapid and accurate point-of-care (POC) differentiation is needed.Methods and findings: A prospective, single center, blinded, observational clinical trial was conducted at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center from December 2012 to August 2013 to determine the accuracy of a POC immunoassay to identify a clinically significant immune response to viral and/or bacterial infection. Sixty patients with acute febrile respiratory infection (19 pharyngitis and 41 lower respiratory tract infection [LRTI]) were enrolled. Participants provided fingerstick blood for immunoassay testing (myxovirus A [MxA] and c-reactive protein [CRP]) and four oropharyngeal samples for viral PCR and routine bacterial cell culture. A venous blood sample was collected. An ELISA was used to measure CRP and MxA. Paired serological testing was used to confirm atypical bacteria. A urine sample was provided for Streptococcus and Legionella antigen testing. Patients with suspected LRTI had sputum and blood cultures, chest X-ray, and WBC count measured. Viral infection was confirmed if oropharyngeal PCR was positive for viral pathogens. Bacterial infection was confirmed in positive throat or sputum cultures. Elevated immunoglobulin M antibodies or twofold increase in IgG antibodies between acute and convalescent phase indicated atypical bacteria. Positive Streptococcus or Legionella urine antigen assays also confirmed bacterial infection. The immunoassay correctly categorized subjects as 92% (22/24) negative, 80% (16/20) with bacterial infection, and 70% (7/10) with viral infection.Conclusions: The interplay between an MxA value and a semi-quantitative CRP value can aid in the differentiation of infectious etiology. In isolation, neither MxA nor CRP alone is sensitive or specific. However, the pattern of results in a rapid immunoassay provides a sensitive and specific method to differentiate acute febrile respiratory infections. This diagnostic information may help reduce antibiotic misuse and resistance and lower healthcare costs.Keywords: respiratory infection; immunoassay; immune response; virus; bacteria; CRP; MxA; point-of-care(Published: 10 December 2015)Citation: European Clinical Respiratory Journal 2015, 2: 28245 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/ecrj.v2.28245
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