What is a respiratory pathogens (RP) panel?
A respiratory pathogens (RP) panel checks for pathogens in the respiratory tract. A pathogen is a virus, bacteria, or other organism that causes an illness. Your respiratory tract is made up of parts of the body involved in breathing. This includes your lungs, nose, and throat.
There are many types of viruses and bacteria that can infect the respiratory tract. Symptoms are often similar, but treatment can be very different. So it’s important to make the right diagnosis. Other viral and bacterial tests for respiratory infections are often limited to testing for one specific pathogen. Several samples may be needed. The process can be difficult and time consuming.
An RP panel only needs a single sample to run tests for a wide variety of viruses and bacteria. Results usually come in a few hours. Results from other types of respiratory tests can take a few days. Faster results may allow you to get started earlier on the right treatment.
Other names: RP panel, respiratory virus profile, syndromic multiplex panel