A new test developed by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis may aid in more prompt detection of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). A HealthDay news report indicates that the test is effective at identifying various strains of the virus and speeds it detection. The researchers published details of the test’s techniques online recently in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

The HealthDay news report notes that previous tests for identifying enterovirus strains took several days to process, while the new test takes a few hours and is more specific than commercial tests for enterovirus, according to researchers.

Gregory Storch, MD, senior author of the study, states, “Commercial tests for respiratory viral infections typically don’t distinguish between rhinoviruses, which cause the common cold, and enteroviruses, and within each of those groups there are many different types. Having a tool to identify which cases of respiratory illness are actually EV-D68 is an advantage for public health.”

Storch adds, “These kinds of tests help treatment decisions because it is important to know that the patient doesn’t have influenza or another disease that might require a specific treatment. It’s also important in a hospital for preventing infections because doctors take patients with one particular virus and keep them apart from patients infected with other infectious agents.”

Source: HealthDay