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Point-of-care testing

Point of care testing (PoCT) in Microbiology is used for rapid testing for Influenza A/B virus.

This is done by the following wards, but is overseen by Microbiology at Oxford University Hospitals:

John Radcliffe Hospital

  • Emergency Department
  • Emergency Assessment Unit
  • Ambulatory Assessment Unit

Horton General Hospital

  • Emergency Department
  • Laburnum Ward

PoCT is also used in the laboratory for patients not from these clinical areas.

For patients from areas which do carry this test, patients with a negative result should send a specimen to the lab for an additional Influenza and RSV test (FRAB).

Specimen requirements

Influenza A/B

  • Nasal Swab in Copan UTM
  • Nasopharyngeal wash
  • Nasopharyngeal aspirate

Laboratory turnaround time

Please refer to the Microbiology Laboratory Users Manual (pdf, 684 KB).

Laboratory method

An immunoassay that can detect influenza virus nucleoproteins via antibody-antigen fluorescence particle complexes is used, i.e. Standard F influenza A/B FIA. It has two test lines which are coated with monoclonal anti-influenza A and anti-influenza B antibodies and a control line coated with polyclonal mouse IgG is also present.

Patient samples are added to the sample well of the test device and will migrate along a membrane. If specific influenza A/B antigen is present it will react with the specific conjugated monoclonal anti-A/B forming antibody-antigen specific fluorescence complexes.

These complexes will migrate further along the pad where they are captured by a specific influenza A/B antibody on a test line this will make a fluorescence signal. The intensity of the fluorescence signal is read by the F200 analyser and a result given.

Where to find results of these tests

  • All results are returned electronically where possible (EPR, SunquestICE).
  • Some results may be phoned to clinicians and GPs.
  • Results are never given directly to patients by the laboratory staff.

Further information and contact details

For further information please email:

Confidential patient information should only be sent from accounts.