Flu virus

Respiratory Tract Infections: Challenges and Future Perspectives for Diagnostic Laboratories

Originally recorded on Wednesday,
November 30, 2022

Respiratory tract infections are a major cause of increased morbidity and mortality worldwide. Clinical severity can range from asymptomatic or mild infections to severe or fatal outcomes. A wide variety of viral pathogens can cause upper and/or lower respiratory tract infections. Nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) has revolutionized the diagnostic landscape and is considered the current gold standard for diagnosis. Modern multiplex NAAT panels have increased diagnostic yield and time to result but their impact on patient management and outcomes remains unclear.

The COVID-19 pandemic still poses a significant threat to public health. An increasing number of SARS-CoV-2 infections will most likely again dominate the upcoming winter season in the northern hemisphere. However, after two years of atypical flu seasons, influenza may strike back along with other viral respiratory tract pathogens, such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and rhinoviruses. This will challenge diagnostic laboratories as combination SARS-CoV-2/influenza virus/RSV NAAT tests may be necessary. Novel tests have entered the market, but thorough validation is still mandatory before any routine diagnostic use.

In this SelectScience webinar, we will briefly review the epidemiology of viral respiratory tract infections and current concepts in diagnostics. In addition, we will present real world data on their performance and highlight future developments.

  • To get to know different diagnostic approaches for respiratory tract infections
  • To appreciate the impact and limitations of molecular testing
  • To learn the current level of evidence
  • To get an understanding of molecular panel testing and future developments

Laboratory Directors, Laboratory Managers, Public Health Professionals, Clinical Researchers, Epidemiologists, Virologists, MDs, Pulmonologists, Respiratory Specialists

Marcus Panning

Prof. Dr. med. Marcus Panning
Head of “Clinical Virus Genomics” department, Institute of Virology, University of Freiburg.

Marcus Panning, MD is a Senior Physician, Professor of Virology, and Deputy Head at the Institute of Virology, Medical Center – University of Freiburg, Germany. He is currently head of the molecular diagnostic unit. Beyond routine clinical virology, his fields of interest include emerging viruses, hepatitis E, and the epidemiology of acute respiratory tract infections. He is the Vice President of the European Society for Clinical Virology (ESCV) and active member of the German Society for Virology.

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