The Food and Drug Administration has cleared Abbott Laboratories’ next-generation Influenza A & B 2 and Strep A 2 molecular assays for point-of-care testing.
The Influenza A & B 2 assay can detect and differentiate influenza A and B in 13 minutes, with a call-out of positive results at 5 minutes. It can be stored at room temperature, simplifying storage and ordering. The Strep A 2 assay detects group A streptococcus bacterial nucleic acid in 6 minutes, with a call-out of positive results at 2 minutes. Both will be the fastest tests currently on the market in their respective fields, according to a corporate press release.
The assays will be available in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings, particularly in locations where patients commonly access health care services, such as EDs, physician offices, walk-in clinics, and urgent care centers. This will allow health care providers to make a fast, informed diagnosis and provide appropriate treatment within the span of a single patient visit.
“The ability to obtain early call outs for positive test results with molecular accuracy in as little as 5 minutes for influenza and 2 minutes for strep A is a game-changing development that allows prompt treatment decisions at the point of care. Rapid testing may also help reduce improper antibiotic usage, which can occur when treatment is based exclusively on a patient’s symptoms, and contributes to antibiotic resistance,” Gregory J. Berry, PhD, director of molecular diagnostics at Northwell Health Laboratories in Lake Success, N.Y., said in the press release.