Dengue fever is a viral disease that is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. It is a significant public health concern in Bangladesh from June to August. However, in some years, it lasted up to December. The symptoms of dengue can range from mild to severe and can include high fever, severe headache, joint and muscle pain, rash, nausea, and vomiting. Let's take a look at the Dengue tests.
What is a Dengue Test?
A Dengue test refers to a diagnostic procedure performed to determine the presence of the dengue virus or antibodies against the virus in an individual's blood sample. These tests play a crucial role in identifying and confirming dengue infection. Early detection of dengue is crucial for effective management and prevention of severe complications. Several methods are available to detect dengue infection. The most commonly used diagnostic tests in Bangladesh include Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and NS1 antigen test.
PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) Dengue test is a molecular diagnostic test used to detect the presence of the dengue virus in a person's blood sample. This test is highly sensitive and specific, allowing for the accurate identification of the dengue virus and its serotypes.
The PCR Dengue test works by amplifying and detecting the viral genetic material, specifically the viral RNA, present in the blood sample. The test utilizes specific primers that target regions of the dengue virus genome. Through a series of temperature cycles, the PCR machine amplifies the targeted viral RNA, making it detectable.
However, the PCR dengue test is particularly useful during the early stages of infection when the virus is actively replicating in the body. It can detect the virus within seven days of symptom onset, providing a rapid diagnosis. This early detection is crucial for appropriate medical intervention, monitoring, and implementation of preventive measures.
The test is recommended when an individual presents with symptoms consistent with dengue fever, such as high fever, severe headache, joint and muscle pain, and rash. Since these symptoms can also be associated with other viral infections, the PCR Dengue test helps confirm whether dengue is the cause. However, the PCR test is more costly than the NS1 test. Hence, Bangladeshi hospitals use the NS1 antigen test.
The NS1 Dengue test is a diagnostic test used to detect the presence of the dengue virus in the blood. NS1 stands for "nonstructural protein 1," which is a protein produced by the dengue virus during infection. The test detects the presence of this protein, indicating an active dengue infection.