Comparison of Types of Influenza Diagnostic Tests

Influenza Diagnostic TestMethodAvailabilityTypical Processing TimeSensitivityDistinguishing Subtype Strains of Influenza ACost
Rapid influenza diagnostic testsAntigen detectionWide<30 min10%–80%No$
Direct and indirect immunofluorescence assaysAntigen detectionWide1–4 h70%–100%No$
Viral cell cultureVirus isolationLimited3–10 d100%Yes$$
Rapid cell culture (shell vials and cell mixtures)Virus isolationLimited1–3 d100%Yes$$
Nucleic acid amplification tests (including rRT-PCR)RNA detectionLimited1–6 h86%–100%Yes$$$
Rapid influenza molecular assaysRNA detectionWide<15 min86%–100%No$$$