Respiratory Pathogens Panel

What is a Respiratory Pathogen Panel?

A Respiratory Pathogen Panel, also called an RPP, is a type of laboratory test used to detect and identify many different types of respiratory illnesses. It is commonly used to diagnose illnesses like pneumonia, bronchitis, and the flu, and can detect more than 21 different viruses including adenovirus, parainfluenza, rhinovirus, and influenza. The results of the RPP can help doctors determine the best course of treatment for their patient’s respiratory illness.

Preparation for Respiratory Pathogen Panel

Before the test begins, you may need to refrain from eating or drinking for several hours prior, depending on the specimen being collected. Your doctor may ask if you have had any allergies in your medical history and tell them any other information that may be relevant. Your doctor may also ask what type of medication you are taking, as certain medications can interfere with test results.

Procedure of Respiratory Pathogen Panel

The procedure for an RPP can vary depending on the type of specimen being collected. Common specimens collected for this type of test include sputum, nasal swabs, throat swabs, and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid specimens. Your doctor will collect a sample of the specimen, which is then sent to a laboratory for testing. Depending on the lab, results may be available in as few as two days.

Types of Pathogens Tests

The most common viruses tested in an RPP are:

  • Adenovirus
  • Parainfluenza
  • Rhinovirus
  • Influenza
  • RV-C
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Risks of Respiratory Pathogens Panel

The risks associated with RPPs are minimal and include the risk of infection from having a sample taken, as well as the risk of an allergic reaction to the testing materials. If you have any concerns about these risks, be sure to talk to your doctor.

Why to perform Respiratory Pathogen Panel?

RPPs are commonly used to diagnose respiratory illnesses including bronchitis, pneumonia, and the flu. An RPP can provide rapid results and can identify the particular type of respiratory illness that a patient is suffering from, which can help in providing the correct treatment. It can also help to identify and isolate any virus or bacteria quickly in order to prevent it from spreading to other individuals.

When to consider Respiratory Pathogen Panel?

You should consider having an RPP if you are experiencing symptoms such as a cough, fever, chest pain, nasal congestion, and difficulty breathing. These are all common symptoms of a respiratory illness, and an RPP can help your doctor to determine what type of illness it is. It is also useful for people who have been exposed to someone with a respiratory illness and are experiencing similar symptoms but are unsure of the cause.