Deployable Laboratory Response to Influenza Pandemic; PCR Assay Field Trials and Comparison with Reference Methods

Tim Inglis, A.J. Merritt, A. Levy, P. Vietheer, R. Bradbury, A. Scholler, G. Chidlow, David Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background: The influenza A/H1N1/09 pandemic spread quickly during the Southern Hemisphere winter in 2009 and reached epidemic proportions within weeks of the official WHO alert. Vulnerable population groups included indigenous Australians and remote northern population centres visited by international travellers. At the height of the Australian epidemic a large number of troops converged on a training area in northern Australia for an international exercise, raising concerns about their potential exposure to the emerging influenza threat before, during and immediately after their arrival in the area. Influenza A/H1N1/09 became the dominant seasonal variant and returned to Australia during the Southern winter the following year.Methods: A duplex nucleic acid amplification assay was developed within weeks of the first WHO influenza pandemic alert, demonstrated in northwestern Australia shortly afterwards and deployed as part of the pathology support for a field hospital during a military exercise during the initial epidemic surge in June 2009.Results: The nucleic acid amplification assay was twice as sensitive as a point of care influenza immunoassay, as specific but a little less sensitive than the reference laboratory nucleic acid amplification assay. Repetition of the field assay with blinded clinical samples obtained during the 2010 winter influenza season demonstrated a 91.7% congruence with the reference laboratory method.Conclusions: Rapid in-house development of a deployable epidemic influenza assay allowed a flexible laboratory response, effective targeting of limited disease control resources in an austere military environment, and provided the public health laboratory service with a set of verification tools for resource-limited settings. The assay method was suitable for rapid deployment in time for the 2010 Northern winter.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5pp
    JournalPLoS One
    Volume6
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Fingerprint

    Pandemics
    pandemic
    influenza
    Human Influenza
    Assays
    field experimentation
    Polymerase Chain Reaction
    assays
    Nucleic Acids
    Amplification
    nucleic acids
    winter
    methodology
    exercise
    Environment and Public Health
    Disease control
    Point-of-Care Systems
    Exercise
    Mobile Health Units
    Public health

    Cite this

    Inglis, Tim ; Merritt, A.J. ; Levy, A. ; Vietheer, P. ; Bradbury, R. ; Scholler, A. ; Chidlow, G. ; Smith, David. / Deployable Laboratory Response to Influenza Pandemic; PCR Assay Field Trials and Comparison with Reference Methods. In: PLoS One. 2011 ; Vol. 6, No. 10. pp. 5pp.
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    abstract = "Background: The influenza A/H1N1/09 pandemic spread quickly during the Southern Hemisphere winter in 2009 and reached epidemic proportions within weeks of the official WHO alert. Vulnerable population groups included indigenous Australians and remote northern population centres visited by international travellers. At the height of the Australian epidemic a large number of troops converged on a training area in northern Australia for an international exercise, raising concerns about their potential exposure to the emerging influenza threat before, during and immediately after their arrival in the area. Influenza A/H1N1/09 became the dominant seasonal variant and returned to Australia during the Southern winter the following year.Methods: A duplex nucleic acid amplification assay was developed within weeks of the first WHO influenza pandemic alert, demonstrated in northwestern Australia shortly afterwards and deployed as part of the pathology support for a field hospital during a military exercise during the initial epidemic surge in June 2009.Results: The nucleic acid amplification assay was twice as sensitive as a point of care influenza immunoassay, as specific but a little less sensitive than the reference laboratory nucleic acid amplification assay. Repetition of the field assay with blinded clinical samples obtained during the 2010 winter influenza season demonstrated a 91.7{\%} congruence with the reference laboratory method.Conclusions: Rapid in-house development of a deployable epidemic influenza assay allowed a flexible laboratory response, effective targeting of limited disease control resources in an austere military environment, and provided the public health laboratory service with a set of verification tools for resource-limited settings. The assay method was suitable for rapid deployment in time for the 2010 Northern winter.",
    author = "Tim Inglis and A.J. Merritt and A. Levy and P. Vietheer and R. Bradbury and A. Scholler and G. Chidlow and David Smith",
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    Deployable Laboratory Response to Influenza Pandemic; PCR Assay Field Trials and Comparison with Reference Methods. / Inglis, Tim; Merritt, A.J.; Levy, A.; Vietheer, P.; Bradbury, R.; Scholler, A.; Chidlow, G.; Smith, David.

    In: PLoS One, Vol. 6, No. 10, 2011, p. 5pp.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    T1 - Deployable Laboratory Response to Influenza Pandemic; PCR Assay Field Trials and Comparison with Reference Methods

    AU - Inglis, Tim

    AU - Merritt, A.J.

    AU - Levy, A.

    AU - Vietheer, P.

    AU - Bradbury, R.

    AU - Scholler, A.

    AU - Chidlow, G.

    AU - Smith, David

    PY - 2011

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    N2 - Background: The influenza A/H1N1/09 pandemic spread quickly during the Southern Hemisphere winter in 2009 and reached epidemic proportions within weeks of the official WHO alert. Vulnerable population groups included indigenous Australians and remote northern population centres visited by international travellers. At the height of the Australian epidemic a large number of troops converged on a training area in northern Australia for an international exercise, raising concerns about their potential exposure to the emerging influenza threat before, during and immediately after their arrival in the area. Influenza A/H1N1/09 became the dominant seasonal variant and returned to Australia during the Southern winter the following year.Methods: A duplex nucleic acid amplification assay was developed within weeks of the first WHO influenza pandemic alert, demonstrated in northwestern Australia shortly afterwards and deployed as part of the pathology support for a field hospital during a military exercise during the initial epidemic surge in June 2009.Results: The nucleic acid amplification assay was twice as sensitive as a point of care influenza immunoassay, as specific but a little less sensitive than the reference laboratory nucleic acid amplification assay. Repetition of the field assay with blinded clinical samples obtained during the 2010 winter influenza season demonstrated a 91.7% congruence with the reference laboratory method.Conclusions: Rapid in-house development of a deployable epidemic influenza assay allowed a flexible laboratory response, effective targeting of limited disease control resources in an austere military environment, and provided the public health laboratory service with a set of verification tools for resource-limited settings. The assay method was suitable for rapid deployment in time for the 2010 Northern winter.

    AB - Background: The influenza A/H1N1/09 pandemic spread quickly during the Southern Hemisphere winter in 2009 and reached epidemic proportions within weeks of the official WHO alert. Vulnerable population groups included indigenous Australians and remote northern population centres visited by international travellers. At the height of the Australian epidemic a large number of troops converged on a training area in northern Australia for an international exercise, raising concerns about their potential exposure to the emerging influenza threat before, during and immediately after their arrival in the area. Influenza A/H1N1/09 became the dominant seasonal variant and returned to Australia during the Southern winter the following year.Methods: A duplex nucleic acid amplification assay was developed within weeks of the first WHO influenza pandemic alert, demonstrated in northwestern Australia shortly afterwards and deployed as part of the pathology support for a field hospital during a military exercise during the initial epidemic surge in June 2009.Results: The nucleic acid amplification assay was twice as sensitive as a point of care influenza immunoassay, as specific but a little less sensitive than the reference laboratory nucleic acid amplification assay. Repetition of the field assay with blinded clinical samples obtained during the 2010 winter influenza season demonstrated a 91.7% congruence with the reference laboratory method.Conclusions: Rapid in-house development of a deployable epidemic influenza assay allowed a flexible laboratory response, effective targeting of limited disease control resources in an austere military environment, and provided the public health laboratory service with a set of verification tools for resource-limited settings. The assay method was suitable for rapid deployment in time for the 2010 Northern winter.

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