Current Advances in Dengue Diagnosis

Evaluation of Two New Commercial Tests for the Diagnosis of Acute Dengue Virus Infection Using NS1 Antigen Detection in Human Serum.

Centre National de Référence des Arbovirus et Virus Influenza, Région Antilles-Guyane, Institut Pasteur de la Guyane, Cayenne, French Guiana.

BACKGROUND: We compared the performance of two new commercial tests for the detection of dengue NS1 protein during the clinical phase of dengue virus (DENV) infection-an immunochromatographic test allowing rapid detection of the NS1 antigen, Dengue NS1 Ag STRIP (Bio-Rad Laboratories – Marnes La Coquette, France), and a two-step sandwich-format microplate enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), pan-E Dengue Early ELISA (Panbio – Brisbane, Australia)-with a one-step sandwich-format microplate ELISA, the Platelia Dengue NS1 Ag test (Bio-Rad). METHODS: We tested 272 serum samples from patients with dengue disease. Of these, 222 were from patients with acute infection of one of the four dengue serotypes, detected by RT-PCR and/or virus isolation. Forty-eight acute-phase serum samples from patients not infected with dengue virus were also included. RESULTS: The sensitivity of the Platelia Dengue NS1 Ag test on acute serum samples (n = 222) was 87.4% (95% confidence interval: 82.3% to 91.5%); that of Dengue NS1 Ag STRIP was 81.5% (95% CI: 75.8% to 86.4%) after 15 minutes and 82.4% (95% CI: 76.8% to 87.2%) after 30 minutes. Both tests had a specificity of 100% (97.5% CI, one-sided test: 92.6% to 100.0%). The pan-E Dengue Early ELISA had a sensitivity of 60.4% (95% CI: 53.4% to 66.8%) and a specificity of 97.9% (95% CI: 88.9% to 99.9%). CONCLUSION: Our findings support the use of diagnostic tools based on the NS1 antigen detection for the diagnosis of acute DENV infection. The immunochromatographic test, Dengue NS1 Ag STRIP-the first rapid diagnostic test for DENV infection-was highly sensitive and specific, and would therefore be a suitable first-line test in the field. The pan-E Dengue Early ELISA was less sensitive than the Platelia test; this two-step ELISA should be combined with DENV IgM antibody detection for the diagnosis of DENV infection.

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