Fast Five Quiz: Do You Know How Best to Approach Suspected Enterovirus D68 Cases?

Robert A. Schwartz, MD, MPH


November 04, 2014

A new rapid diagnostic test for enterovirus D68 began being used by the CDC in October 2014 for children suspected of harboring enterovirus D68. This "real-time" reverse transcription polymerase chair reaction (PCR) test identifies strains seen in this recent outbreak and should facilitate its monitoring. This test identifies all strains of enterovirus D68 that have been observed this summer and fall. In addition, it involves fewer and shorter steps than the test that CDC and some states were using previously during this outbreak.

Standard PCR testing is highly sensitive and specific for detecting enteroviral RNA in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens, with a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 97%. This test provides rapid results and is the best diagnostic test for use in CSF, but it is limited by availability in some areas and cost in underdeveloped regions.

For more on the workup of enterovirus D68, read here.


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