EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF DENGUE VIRUS INFECTION IN CLINICALLY SUSPECTED CASES

Objective: Comparison of real time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RTPCR) and
immunoglobulin M (IgM) capture enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for diagnosis of dengue virus
infection in first week of illness in clinically suspected patients of dengue fever.

Study Design: Cross sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of haematology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP)
Rawalpindi from Jan 2013 to Nov 2013.

Material and Methods: A cross sectional study including 68 clinically suspected patients of dengue fever
according to the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. IgM capture ELISA and RT PCR for dengue virus
ribonucleic acid (RNA) was performed on samples collected from patients having fever for 1 to 7 days. These
were divided into two groups. Patients in group 1 presented with fever of 4 days or less, patients in group 2 had
fever of 5 to 7 days duration.

Results: In group 1, 72% of the patients were positive by RT PCR while 31% were positive by IgM capture ELISA.
In group 2, 43% of the patients were positive by RT PCR while 97% were positive by ELISA.

Conclusion: RT PCR can be used for early detection of dengue virus infection in the first few days of fever while
IgM ELISA is diagnostic afterwards.

Keywords: Dengue virus, IgM capture ELISA, RT PCR, WHO criteria.

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