The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to Becton, Dickinson and Company’s (BD) new rapid antigen test that can identify SARS-CoV-2, influenza A and influenza B in a single test.

The BD Veritor System for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2 & Flu A+B assay runs on the BD Veritor Plus System and uses the same simple workflow as other rapid tests run on the system to provide a result in 15 minutes.

The test differentiates between SARS-CoV-2, influenza A and influenza B and delivers individual, definitive positive or negative digital display readouts for all three.

Intended for people suspected of having Covid-19, influenza A or influenza B by a health care provider, the test can be carried out within six days of developing symptoms.

BD life sciences president Dave Hickey said: “Given that symptoms for Covid-19 and the flu are very similar, having the ability to run a rapid combination test to distinguish between these viral infections may help save time and resources.

“BD will continue to offer both individual tests for SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A+B, as well as the new combination tests, to give health care providers the option to run the test that is most appropriate for their patients.”

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The company intends to introduce the combination test in June for the 2021-2022 flu season.

The US has more than 70,000 active BD Veritor Systems in use at hospitals, clinician offices, urgent care centres, nursing homes, retail pharmacies, schools, businesses and other testing sites.

BD noted that the system, which is slightly bigger than a cell phone, has one-button functionality, workflow flexibility and an uncomplicated design, is a perfect solution for settings without laboratory staff.

In February, BD received the CE mark for its BD Multitest 6-Color TBNK Reagent with BD Trucount Tubes.