A variety of tests are available for the detection of influenza A viruses, including the 2009 H1N1 strain. These tests include: rapid antigen tests, direct fluorescent antibody tests to detect the presence of virus in patient specimens, shell vial cell cultures, classical tube cell cultures, and reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR), which detects influenza-specific viral genes. These tests differ in sensitivity, specificity, availability, and the ability to distinguish between different influenza strains and subtypes, such as influenza A 2009 H1N1.The rapid tests, such as the direct rapid antigen tests or immunofluorescence assays, have lower sensitivity and specificity compared to cell culture and the RT-PCR based tests. Rapid tests vary in their ability to detect the 2009 H1N1 virus. The range of sensitivity is 10% to 70% and none of the rapid tests that are currently available are specific for H1N1. However, results of rapid tests are available within 30 minutes to one hour so that a positive test will provide further information toward a diagnosis when it is coupled with a patient's symptoms. A few FDA-cleared RT-PCR kits are available for the detection of influenza A viruses. For the subtyping of influenza A viruses, such as Influenza A seasonal H3N2, and 2009 H1N1, the FDA has given the status of "Emergency Use Authorization" (EUA) to a few of the RT-PCR kits; currently available kits under this emergency status category include those made by the CDC, ELITech, Prodesse, Focus Diagnostics, and Roche. (http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/EmergencySituations/ucm161496.htm)State Departments of Health have been provided with RT-PCR kits from the CDC for the subtyping of influenza A viruses. This testing has also been FDA-reviewed and given the status of EUA. State and local health department guidelines determine which specimens should be submitted to public health laboratories for RT-PCR testing. In addition, several commercial reference laboratories, academic labs, and hospital labs have been able to perform influenza A subtyping for 2009 H1N1 under the same EUA status. Any laboratory that performs an EUA method would be required to perform an internal validation process.