Usefulness of dengue- ns1 antigen as an early marker of dengue virus infection in a tertiary care hospital

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Author: 
Mamatha, V., Muralidharan, S., Ranjani Shamsundar and Seena Thomas
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Dengue is one of the most important mosquito borne viral infections of man. Dengue epidemics have taken a significant economic and health toll. The study was aimed to look at the utility of dengue NS1 (non structural protein 1) antigen as an early marker of dengue infection. The study group included 300 clinically suspected cases of dengue presenting within the first week of fever. Patients’ serum sample was subjected to ELISA for NS1 Ag, IgM Ab and IgG Ab. Of the study group, 36.33% and 44.33% of cases were positive by NS1 Ag test and IgM Ab test respectively; when both the tests were combined together, the detection rate increased to 61.33%, which was statistically significant (p=0.04). In the first 3 days of fever, a higher number of cases were positive for NS1 Ag only. By day 4, a combination of NS1 Ag and IgM Ab gave a positivity of 29.31%. Day 5 onwards, a higher number of cases were positive for IgM Ab only. The results show that NS1 Ag is a very useful tool in the diagnosis of dengue infection especially in the first 3 days of fever even before IgM Ab becomes detectable; when used in combination with IgM Ab assay, the diagnostic algorithm significantly improves on a single serum sample.

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