Validation of Self-swab for Confirmation of Influenza Virus Infections

Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 205 Issue 4 February 15, 2012

Dennis K. M. Ip, Martin Schutten, Vicky J. Fang, Rita O. P. Fung, Regina T. Dutkowski, Kwok-Hung Chan, Gabriel M. Leung, J. S. Malik Peiris, and Benjamin J. Cowling
Validation of Self-swab for Virologic Confirmation of Influenza Virus Infections in a Community Setting
J Infect Dis. (2012) 205(4): 631-634 doi:10.1093/infdis/jir803

Few studies have investigated the validity of self-collected nose and throat swabs for influenza confirmation in community settings. We followed outpatients with confirmed influenza with sequential measurement of viral loads and applied log-linear regression models to the viral shedding patterns. Among 176 outpatients with confirmed influenza, the detection of virus and quantitative viral loads obtained from self-swabs was consistent with statistical predictions based on earlier and later measurements, suggesting that self-collected nose and throat swabs can be a valid alternative for virologic confirmation of influenza A or B infection in a community setting.