BACKGROUND: The use of point-of care testing (POCT) in patient management decisions is becoming increasingly common. Our goal was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of 2 commercially available rapid POCT devices for influenza viruses A and B: the Alere™ i Instrument (Alere, Scarborough) and the BD Veritor™ System (BD Diagnostics). METHODS: Paired nasopharyngeal swabs were collected from patients (18-71 years) presenting with influenza-like symptoms at 3 outpatient clinics. A total of 65 samples were obtained. The Alere i and BD Veritor were performed according to the manufacturers' instructions. Discordant results were resolved using real-time reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR). RESULTS: In a head-to-head comparison involving symptomatic adult patients visiting outpatient clinics during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 influenza seasons, the Alere i and BD Veritor had 90.63% agreement in the detection of influenza A virus and a statistically significant observed κ coefficient of 0.754 (P <0.0001). Discordant results between the Alere i and BD Veritor were further investigated using RT-PCR, showing that the BD Veritor missed 5 positive influenza A virus results (false negatives) and detected 1 false positive, while the Alere i results agreed with all RT-PCR results. There were no discordant results between the Alere i and BD Veritor in the detection of influenza B virus. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that the Alere i has higher sensitivity and specificity than the BD Veritor in the detection of influenza A virus. Both assays showed equal performance in the detection of influenza B virus.
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