Diagnostic Accuracy of a Bacterial and Viral Biomarker Point-of-Care Test in the Outpatient Setting

Academic Article


  • Importance: Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) account for most outpatient visits. Discriminating bacterial vs viral etiology is a diagnostic challenge with therapeutic implications. Objective: To investigate whether FebriDx, a rapid, point-of-care immunoassay, can differentiate bacterial- from viral-associated host immune response in ARI through measurement of myxovirus resistance protein A (MxA) and C-reactive protein (CRP) from finger-stick blood. Design, Setting, and Participants: This diagnostic study enrolled adults and children who were symptomatic for ARI and individuals in a control group who were asymptomatic between October 2019 and April 2021. Included participants were a convenience sample of patients in outpatient settings (ie, emergency department, urgent care, and primary care) who were symptomatic, aged 1 year or older, and had suspected ARI and fever within 72 hours. Individuals with immunocompromised state and recent vaccine, antibiotics, stroke, surgery, major burn, or myocardial infarction were excluded. Of 1685 individuals assessed for eligibility, 259 individuals declined participation, 718 individuals were excluded, and 708 individuals were enrolled (520 patients with ARI, 170 patients without ARI, and 18 individuals who dropped out). Exposures: Bacterial and viral immunoassay testing was performed using finger-stick blood. Results were read at 10 minutes, and treating clinicians and adjudicators were blinded to results. Main Outcomes and Measures: Bacterial- or viral-associated systemic host response to an ARI as determined by a predefined comparator algorithm with adjudication classified infection etiology. Results: Among 520 participants with ARI (230 male patients [44.2%] and 290 female patients [55.8%]; mean [SD] age, 35.3 [17.7] years), 24 participants with missing laboratory information were classified as unknown (4.6%). Among 496 participants with a final diagnosis, 73 individuals (14.7%) were classified as having a bacterial-associated response, 296 individuals (59.7%) as having a viral-associated response, and 127 individuals (25.6%) as negative by the reference standard. The bacterial and viral test correctly classified 68 of 73 bacterial infections, demonstrating a sensitivity of 93.2% (95% CI, 84.9%-97.0%), specificity of 374 of 423 participants (88.4% [95% CI, 85.0%-91.1%]), positive predictive value (PPV) of 68 of 117 participants (58.1% [95% CI, 49.1%-66.7%), and negative predictive value (NPV) of 374 of 379 participants (98.7% [95% CI, 96.9%-99.4%]).The test correctly classified 208 of 296 viral infections, for a sensitivity of 70.3% (95% CI, 64.8%-75.2%), a specificity of 176 of 200 participants (88.0% [95% CI, 82.8%-91.8%]), a PPV of 208 of 232 participants (89.7% [95% CI, 85.1%-92.9%]), and an NPV of 176 of 264 participants (66.7% [95% CI, 60.8%-72.1%]). Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, a rapid diagnostic test demonstrated diagnostic performance that may inform clinicians when assessing for bacterial or viral etiology of ARI symptoms..
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    Published In

  • JAMA Network Open  Journal
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    Author List

  • Shapiro NI; Filbin MR; Hou PC; Kurz MC; Han JH; Aufderheide TP; Ward MA; Pulia MS; Birkhahn RH; Diaz JL
  • Start Page

  • E2234588