Evaluation and Implementation of FilmArray Version 1.7 for Improved Detection of Adenovirus Respiratory Tract Infection

The BioFire FilmArray respiratory panel is a multiplex PCR technology capable of detecting a number of bacteria and viruses that cause respiratory tract infection. The assay is technically simple to perform and provides rapid results, making it an appealing option for physicians and laboratorians. The initial product released by BioFire (version 1.6) was reported to have poor sensitivity for adenovirus detection and was therefore of concern when testing immunocompromised patients. This study evaluates the redesigned FilmArray assay (version 1.7) for detection of adenovirus. In this evaluation, we performed both retrospective and prospective verification studies, as well as a detailed serotype analysis. We found that version 1.7 demonstrated improved adenovirus sensitivity. In retrospective studies, sensitivity improved from 66.6% to 90.5%, and in prospective studies, it improved from 42.7% to 83.3%. In addition, when 39 clinically relevant serotypes were tested, 8 were not detected by version 1.6 and only 1 was not detected by version 1.7. The limit of detection remained the same when tested against serotype 4 but improved by 2 log units for serotype 7. Lastly, turnaround time analyses showed that the FilmArray assay was completed 3 h and 9 min after collection, which was more than a 37-h improvement over the previous multiplex PCR assay performed in our laboratory.

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