Product Spotlight: Respiratory Controls – Molecular Infectious Disease Testing
Molecular Controls for Respiratory Infection Testing
Flu is a contagious respiratory illness cause by influenza viruses that infect the throat, nose, and sometimes lungs. It can cause illness and sometimes death. Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent catching flu .
There are four types of seasonal flu, A, B, C, and D. Types A and B cause seasonal epidemics of disease. Illnesses range from severe to mild and can even result in death in high risk groups. High risk groups include, pregnant women, children under 5 years of age, the elderly, and people with chronic or immunosuppressive medical conditions .
Flu season begins as early as October, reaches its peak in February, and ends in March. In the southern hemisphere, flu season falls between June and September. Wherever it’s cold, it’s flu season.
A test to detect Influenza viruses can be used to determine whether a patient has the flu. A swab is taken from either the nose or back of the throat and sent for testing. Molecular assays can be used to detect genetic material of the virus . Molecular methods play an important role in the diagnosis and surveillance of influenza viruses. Molecular diagnostics allow timely and accurate detection of influenza and are already implemented in many laboratories. The combination of automated purification of nucleic acids with real-time PCR should enable even more rapid identification of viral pathogens such as influenza viruses in clinical material .
The Qnostics range of complete molecular controls for infectious disease testing can be used in the daily monitoring of assay performance, linearity assessment, assay evaluation, validation/verification of new assays and staff training. As whole pathogen controls, the range is designed to mimic the performance of patient samples and can be used to effectively monitor the entire testing process including extraction, amplification and detection.
Qnostics offers a range of solutions for molecular respiratory testing:
Independently manufactured, these positive and externally run controls are designed to be treated as a patient sample within an assay run. Helping to support a laboratory’s accreditation requirements in line with ISO 15189:2012, Q Controls are supplied in an unassayed, liquid frozen format delivering accurate and reliable test results.
Analytical Q Panels
Each Analytical Q Panel consists of five or more individual samples including a negative and is designed to cover the dynamic range of individual infectious disease assays, in a linear progression. Analytical Q Panels are intended for use in the validation and verification of new assays with the main purpose of helping to ensure assays are linear throughout the dynamic range. In addition, Analytical Q Panels will support a laboratory’s accreditation requirements, in line with ISO 15189:2012.
Evaluation Panels may be used to evaluate assay characteristics, confirm performance claims and ultimately ensure the assay is fit for purpose. Evaluation Panels may also be used in the validation of clinical assays and the development of diagnostic tests.
Molecular Respiratory Testing
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 “Key Facts About Influenza (Flu) | Seasonal Influenza (Flu) | CDC”, Cdc.gov, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm. [Accessed: 25- Sep- 2018].
 “Influenza (Seasonal)”, World Health Organization, 2018. [Online]. Available: http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/influenza-(seasonal). [Accessed: 27- Sep- 2018].
 “Diagnosing Flu | Seasonal Influenza (Flu) | CDC”, Cdc.gov, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/testing.htm. [Accessed: 25- Sep- 2018].
 J. Ellis and M. Zambon, “Molecular diagnosis of influenza”, Reviews in Medical Virology, vol. 12, no. 6, pp. 375-389, 2002.