This article was originally published here
Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2021 May 11;101(1):115424. doi: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2021.115424. Online ahead of print.
Cartridge-based multiplex panels covering numerous pathogens offer an advantage of minimal hands-on-time and short time to result to commercial RT-PCR assays. In this study, we evaluated the performance of the ePlex respiratory pathogen panel (RPP) compared to the Fast Track Diagnostics Respiratory pathogens 21 multiplex RT-PCR assay (FTD21) using 400 clinical respiratory samples. Discrepant results were further analysed by a reference nucleic acid amplification testing (NAT) and a composite reference approach was used for final interpretation. Discordant results were observed in 56 targets corresponding to 54 samples. Sensitivities and specificities were 85.5% and 99.9% for the ePlex RPP and 95.8% and 99.7% for the FTD21 system, respectively. Altogether, the ePlex RPP is a valuable tool for the rapid detection of a number of different respiratory viruses with the exception of the coronavirus family (low sensitivity ranging from 50-80%) and samples with a low pathogen load (Ct values >33).