Respiratory Panel Test for Viral Challenge Studies

WCCT demonstrates a Respiratory Panel Test using the BioFire FilmArray Multiplex PCR System to ensure that patients who participated in an Viral Challenge Studies are no longer infected with the disease in question. WCCT performs this check twice before allowing a previously-infected patient to leave their controlled quarantine environment inside their viral challenge facility.

In Viral Challenge Studies, the respiratory panel test can provide a differential diagnosis of upper and lower respiratory tract infections in immuno-compromised patients, as well as determine the appropriate virus-specific treatments, and prevent inappropriate antibiotic therapy. A positive result is consistent with infection by the virus(es) detected; a negative test result is consistent with the absence of infection, but may also be due to RNA or DNA concentrations below the detection limit of the assay.

The respiratory panel test uses real-time data from polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology to identify respiratory viral pathogens, which is more effective than the typical detection based on the presence of antigens. This level of accuracy is extremely important for viral challenge studies, in which otherwise healthy volunteers are inoculated with the disease in question. An inaccurate detection of the disease could result in unsafe circumstances for the volunteer, and even worse consequences for the community at large if a spread in infection were to occur. Patient and community safety is of the utmost importance when conducting viral challenge studies, and thus, the most state-of-the-art and accurate technology is required to administer this test.