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Trop Med Int Health. 2007 Jan;12(1):47-51.

Rapid diagnostic tests for dengue and leptospirosis: antibody detection is insensitive at presentation.

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  • 1Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.



To determine the performance of rapid diagnostic tests for dengue and leptospirosis that rely on detecting antibodies that may not be produced when patients present for medical treatment.


We prospectively enrolled 723 patients with undifferentiated febrile illness presenting to rural hospitals in northern and northeastern Thailand over a 1-year period. We evaluated rapid antibody detection diagnostic tests for dengue and leptospirosis on these patients.


Sensitivity of the tests was low at the acute visit (7.6-21.5%). Sensitivity at the convalescent visit ranged from 25.8% to 81.5% and was significantly higher than at the acute visit for all tests (chi(2), P < 0.001).


Low sensitivity of the rapid tests at presentation suggests that their utility in the acute phase of dengue and leptospirosis is limited.

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