The role of the NxTAG® respiratory pathogen panel assay and other multiplex platforms in clinical practice

Susanna Esposito, Nicola Principi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The advent of nucleic acid amplification tests has significantly improved the aetiologic diagnosis of respiratory infections. However, multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can be technologically challenging. Areas covered: This paper reports the results of the main published studies on the NxTAG Respiratory Pathogen Panel (RPP) and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of extensive use of multiplex assays in clinical practice. Expert commentary: Currently available data seem to indicate that routine use of multiplex assays, including NxTAG RPP Assay, should be recommended only when epidemiological data concerning circulation of viruses and bacteria have to be collected. Their use in clinical practice seems debatable. They have limited sensitivity and specificity at least in the identification of some infectious agents or, as in the case of NxTAG RPP, they have not been evaluated in a sufficient number of patients to allow definitive conclusions. In the future, the clinical relevance of multiplex assays, including NxTAG RPP, could significantly increase, mainly because a number of new antiviral agents effective against several respiratory viruses for which no drug is presently available will be marketed. In addition, it is highly likely that the efficiency of multiplex assays will be significantly improved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Molecular Diagnostics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2017


  • Atypical bacteria
  • multiplex assays
  • respiratory pathogen
  • respiratory virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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