Use of Saliva for Early Dengue Diagnosis

[PLoSNTDS] Author summary The importance of laboratory diagnosis of dengue cannot be undermined. In recent years, many dengue diagnostic tools have become available for various stages of the disease, but the one limitation is that they require blood as a specimen for testing. In many incidences, phlebotomy in needle-phobic febrile individuals, especially children, can be challenging, and the tendency to forgo a dengue blood test is high. To circumvent this, we decided to work toward a saliva-based assay (antigen-capture anti-DENV IgA ELISA, ACA-ELISA) that has the necessary sensitivity and specificity to detect dengue early. Overall sensitivity of the ACA-ELISA, when tested on saliva collected from dengue-confirmed patients (EDEN study) at three time points, was 70% in the first 3 days after fever onset and 93% between 4 to 8 days after fever onset. In patients with secondary dengue infections, salivary IgA was detected on the first day of fever onset in all the dengue confirmed patients. This demonstrates the utility of saliva in the ACA-ELISA for early dengue diagnostics. This technique is easy to perform, cost effective, and is especially useful in dengue endemic countries.

Read full [PLoSNTDS]

Yap G, Sil BK, Ng L-C (2011) Use of Saliva for Early Dengue Diagnosis. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 5(5): e1046. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001046