Respiratory virus test gets FDA clearance for point of care

A diagnostic test that detects respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)—a common cause of pneumonia and bronchiolitis—is about to see easier and greater use. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a laboratory waiver for the i RSV testing system, manufactured by Alere, allowing it to be used outside of a laboratory setting. Physicians will now be able to perform the test at the point of care instead of transporting seniors to a hospital laboratory.

The molecular test, first approved by the FDA in mid-2016, uses nasal swabs to detect the presence of RSV in 13 minutes or less, significantly faster than laboratory-based testing, notes a company announcement. The swift diagnosis can help physicians treat ill residents faster, avoid the unnecessary use of antibiotics, and maintain infectious disease control protocols.

Topics: Clinical , Infection control