Comparative evaluation of a latex test for the identification ofStaphylococcus aureus

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A rapid latex agglutination test, Staphaurex, was tested for its ability to identifyStaphylococcus aureus using 72 reference strains and 785 clinical isolates of the familyMicrococcaceae. All reference strains ofStaphylococcus aureus were Staphaurex-positive. Non-Staphylococcus aureus reference strains were negative. Using clinical strains, the results of the Staphaurex test were compared with the results of other tests commonly used to identifyStaphylococcus aureus. A total of 393 clinical isolates were classified asStaphylococcus aureus. The Staphaurex, slide coagulase, tube coagulase/human plasma and tube coagulase/rabbit plasma tests correctly identified 98%, 93.6%, 93.6% and 97.5% of theStaphylococcus aureus strains, respectively. The performance of the Staphaurex test, in terms of sensitivity and specificity, was significantly better than the slide coagulase test. It was as sensitive and almost as specific as the tube coagulase rabbit test and more sensitive than the tube coagulase human test.