Comparison of a new transport medium with universal transport medium at a tropical field site.


Limited data are available in rural Honduran settings describing the etiology of respiratory infections, partially due to limited specimen transport. A new molecular transport media (MTM) preserves released nucleic acid at ambient temperature for later detection. Prospective surveillance was conducted in a Honduran clinic to identify 233 children less than 5 years of age presenting with respiratory symptoms. We obtained 2 nasopharyngeal samples and stored 1 in PrimeStore® MTM at room temperature and 1 in universal transport media (UTM) at -80 °C. The specimens were then transported to Cincinnati Children's Hospital and tested for 16 respiratory viruses using a multiplex PCR panel. The 2 specimen collection systems were similar for detecting the 4 most common viruses: influenza (Kappa = 0.7676, P < 0.0001), human metapneumovirus (Kappa = 0.8770, P < 0.0001), respiratory syncytial virus (Kappa = 0.6849, P < 0.0001), and parainfluenza (Kappa = 0.8796, P < 0.0001). These results suggest that clinical specimens transported via PrimeStore® MTM and UTM yield similar viral multiplex PCR results.