Background: Rapid diagnosis of influenza virus and Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections is of importance for therapeutic intervention. It was the aim of the study to evalu-ate screening tests for influenza A (Flu A), B (Flu B), and Mycoplasma pneumoniae (M.pneumoniae) infections in young patients admitted to the hospital.
Methods: 522 children and juvenile patients were admitted to the hospital because of symptoms suspecting Flu A, B or M.pneumoniae infections. Gold Immunochromatogra-phy Assays were used to screen for Flu A and Flu B and rapid identification cul-turing with subsequent polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was carried out at admission for identification of M.pneumoniae infections. Diagnoses were based upon seroconver-sion during the clinical course.
Results: In the current study, 26% of 522 patients were shown to be infected with Flu A and 77% had positive screens using the Gold Immunochromatography Assays. 19% of 522 patients were infected with Flu B as diagnosed by seroconversion and 89% were detected by the screen. The rapid identification culture showed that 169 of 522 patients were M.pneumoniae positive. The positive samples based on rapid identi-fication showed negative and poor concordance with PCR tests. The consistency test between the two screening methods mentioned above showed higher kappa value in the children group than infant group.
Conclusions: The results are in agreement with literature and indicate that in juve-nile patients and children the screening efficiency was limited. PCR assays may be applied prior to evaluation of antibody titres in the case of M.pneumoniae infec-tions confirming previous results. The pronounced effect of age on the outcome has to be taken into account for evaluation of the screening methods.