Laboratory Detection of Respiratory Viruses by Automated Techniques

Mercedes Pérez-Ruiz*, Irene Pedrosa-Corral, Sara Sanbonmatsu-Gámez , José-María Navarro-Marí
Laboratorio de Referencia de Salud Pública para Enfermedades con Sospecha de Etiología Vírica en Andalucía (Consejería de Salud), Servicio de Microbiología, Hospital Universitario Virgen de las Nieves, Avda, Fuerzas Armadas, 2, 18014 Granada, Spain

© Pérez-Ruiz et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http: // which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Servicio de Microbiología. Hospital Universitario Virgen de las Nieves, Avda. Fuerzas Armadas, 2, 18014 Granada, Spain; Tel: +34 958 020 717; E-mail:


Advances in clinical virology for detecting respiratory viruses have been focused on nucleic acids amplification techniques, which have converted in the reference method for the diagnosis of acute respiratory infections of viral aetiology. Improvements of current commercial molecular assays to reduce hands-on-time rely on two strategies, a stepwise automation (semi-automation) and the complete automation of the whole procedure. Contributions to the former strategy have been the use of automated nucleic acids extractors, multiplex PCR, real-time PCR and/or DNA arrays for detection of amplicons. Commercial fully-automated molecular systems are now available for the detection of respiratory viruses. Some of them could convert in point-of-care methods substituting antigen tests for detection of respiratory syncytial virus and influenza A and B viruses. This article describes laboratory methods for detection of respiratory viruses. A cost-effective and rational diagnostic algorithm is proposed, considering technical aspects of the available assays, infrastructure possibilities of each laboratory and clinic-epidemiologic factors of the infection

Keywords: Acute respiratory infection, automation, influenza-like illness, microarray, real-time PCR, respiratory viruses..