Rapid diagnosis and determination of duration of viraemia in dengue fever using a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction

J. L. Brown*, R. Wilkinson, R. N. Davidson, R. Wall, Graham Lloyd, J. Howells, G. Pasvol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A rapid, simple diagnostic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method for the diagnosis of dengue fever was developed using a pair of consensus oligonucleotide primers and validated with laboratory-derived strains of dengue serotypes 1-4 and other common flaviviruses. A cluster of 13 patients with clinical dengue fever admitted to a single infectious diseases unit over a period of 3 months allowed evaluation of this technology. The PCR was positive in all 11 acute dengue cases and negative in 2 convalescent cases and 10 febrile patients recently returned from the tropics in whom an alternative diagnosis was established. In some of the acute cases, viraemia was detected before the development of a dignostic antibody response (indirect immunoglobulin (Ig) G enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and capture IgM ELISA). In patients from whom sequential sera were taken, defervescence and recovery from thrombocytopenia coincided with the disappearance of dengue ribonucleic acid from the blood. Nucleotide sequencing of the PCR products was undertaken in 2 cases (from India and Guyana) and the results showed a close match with previously reported serotype 2 sequencies, suggesting a potential for use of this region of the genome in epidemiological studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-143
Number of pages4
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume90
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1996

Keywords

  • Dengue fever
  • Diagnosis
  • Persistence of viraemia
  • Polymerase chain reaction

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