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J Glob Infect Dis. 2009 Jan;1(1):38-44. doi: 10.4103/0974-777X.52980.

The laboratorial diagnosis of dengue: applications and implications.

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Laboratory of Molecular Immunovirology, Department of General Biology, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil.


The diagnosis of infection by the dengue virus relies, in most cases, on the clinical judgment of the patient, since only a few major centers have clinical laboratories that offer diagnostic tests to confirm the clinical impressions of an infection. At present, routine laboratory diagnosis is done by different kinds of testing. Among them are the methods of serological research, virus isolation, detection of viral antigens, and detection of viral genomes. The continued development of diagnostic tests, which are cheap, sensitive, specific, easy to perform, and capable of giving early diagnosis of the dengue virus infection is still a need. There are also other obstacles that are not specifically related to the technological development of diagnostic methods. For instance, infrastructure of the laboratories, the training of personnel, and the capacity of research of these laboratories are still limited in many parts of Brazil and the world, where dengue is endemic. Clinical laboratories, especially the ones that serve regions with a high incidence of dengue, should be aware of all the diagnostic methods available for routine these days, and choose the one that best suit their working conditions and populations served, in order to save lives.


Clinical laboratory; Dengue; Diagnosis

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