When the weather turns colder, the risk of contracting respiratory viruses like influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) increases significantly. In the United States, flu season typically peaks in mid- to late-November. Respiratory viruses tend to spread more quickly in winter months, and our immune systems aren’t as strong when temperatures drop.
While RSV has historically been more prevalent in children, it can also have serious ramifications for the elderly and immunosuppressed. Like influenza, RSV spreads through respiratory droplets. It can also spread through common items likely to carry infection, known as fomites, like used tissues or door handles.
Mayo Clinic Laboratories has a full suite of testing options that can help detect these viruses earlier and allow treatment to begin more quickly.
Respiratory viruses Test menu
We offer panel testing to assess for infections caused by 22 viruses and bacteria, including SARS-CoV-2, influenza A and B, and RSV. These tests detect pathogen DNA or RNA in approximately one hour using bronchoalveolar lavage and bronchial washing specimens or nasopharyngeal swab specimens.
Our testing is designed to aid in the diagnosis of adenovirus infections. Human adenoviruses cause a variety of diseases, including pneumonia, cystitis, conjunctivitis, diarrhea, hepatitis, myocarditis, and encephalitis. In humans, adenoviruses have been recovered from almost every organ system. Infections can occur at any time of the year and in all age groups. Currently, there are over 50 adenovirus serotypes that have been grouped into six separate subgenera.
Our tests aid in the diagnosis of enterovirus infections. The normal site of enterovirus replication is the gastrointestinal tract, where the infection is typically subclinical. However, in a proportion of cases, the virus spreads to other organs, causing systemic manifestations, including mild respiratory disease (e.g., common cold); conjunctivitis; hand, foot, and mouth disease; aseptic meningitis; myocarditis; and acute flaccid paralysis.
We offer testing that detects influenza A and B and RSV in one rapid, accurate test. This test is useful for the simultaneous detection of influenza A virus, influenza B virus, and respiratory syncytial virus in upper or lower respiratory tract specimens from individuals with flu-like illnesses.
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Our tests are designed to diagnose infections and predict macrolide susceptibility due to Mycoplasma (Mycoplasmoides) pneumoniae. It is a cause of upper respiratory infection, pharyngitis, and tracheobronchitis, particularly in children, and has been associated with approximately 20% of cases of community-acquired pneumonia.1
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