Specific Antigen Used Generically

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    Michael K Martin

    I’m starting to see a pattern in requests coming to me and would like to know the right way to respond.

    LOINC often has a generic code for a test that is specific to a conserved antigen or gene

    23384-1 Pseudorabies virus Ag [Presence] in Unspecified specimen by Immunoassay
    is, I think, really an immunoassay for the GB antigen which is conserved across strains of PRV

    44263-2 Influenza virus A RNA [Units/​volume] (viral load) in Unspecified specimen by Probe and target amplification method
    is a PCR for the matrix gene of influenza, again because that is a highly conserved gene compared to Hemagglutinin or Neuraminidase.

    How should I respond to requests for codes that are specific for the GB antigen or the Matrix gene, etc.? The use the requesters have in mind really does want to be specific for those conserved components. So, on one hand, it really is a different request from “test for X using any conserved component.” But, on the other hand, it really is the same test as the generic codes above.


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