SARS-CoV-2, Influenza A and B, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) testing

Answers from the Lab

Respiratory viruses pose significant health risks for infants and adults with underlying health conditions. In this test specific episode of the "Answers From the Lab" podcast, Joseph Yao, M.D., discusses Mayo Clinic Laboratories' four-target test for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, influenza A, influenza B and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.

"It's important for clinicians to know whether their at-risk patients have RSV as a cause of their respiratory symptoms," Dr. Yao says. "RSV is treatable if it's detected early. It makes sense to obtain an accurate diagnosis, to provide precise treatment and to minimize unnecessary testing or inaccurate treatment, for a better patient outcome."

The four-target test is recommended for patients who have had flu-like illness for 48 hours and who are at risk for severe RSV. Pediatric patients at risk include:

  • Infants under the age of 6 months
  • Children with a history of premature birth, or of chronic lung disease or heart disease
  • Children with neuromuscular disorders

The test is also recommended for patients with an immunocompromised condition due to chemotherapy, a history of organ or cell transplantation, or a history of a blood-related cancer, such as leukemia.

A standalone test for RSV is also available. Mayo Clinic Laboratories is unique in its ability to offer this RSV-only test option.

"Individuals who are immunocompromised may have multiple pathogens present. Then, it will be more cost-effective to request the respiratory pathogen panel," Dr. Yao says.

He notes that the standalone RSV test requires a nasal pharyngeal swab. The four-target test can be performed with a variety of specimens, including nasal pharyngeal swabs, throat swabs or nasal mid-turbinate swabs, as well as lower respiratory specimens such as sputum or samples from bronchoalveolar lavage.

Listen to learn more about how the SARS-CoV-2, influenza A, influenza B and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV four-target viral test can provide accurate results for patients at risk of severe respiratory disease.

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Samantha Rossi

Samantha Rossi is a Digital Marketing Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She supports marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing. Samantha has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2019.