Dengue virus (DENV) infection is considered a major public health problem in developing tropical countries where the virus is endemic and continues to cause major disease outbreaks every year. Here, we describe the development of a novel, inexpensive, and user-friendly diagnostic assay based on a reverse transcription-insulated isothermal PCR (RT-iiPCR) method for the detection of all four serotypes of DENV in clinical samples. The diagnostic performance of the newly established pan-DENV RT-iiPCR assay targeting a conserved 3′ untranslated region of the viral genome was evaluated. The limit of detection with a 95% confidence was estimated to be 10 copies of in vitro-transcribed (IVT) RNA. Sensitivity analysis using RNA prepared from 10-fold serial dilutions of tissue culture fluid containing DENVs suggested that the RT-iiPCR assay was comparable to the multiplex real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) assay for DENV-1, -3, and -4 detection but 10-fold less sensitive for DENV-2 detection. Subsequently, plasma collected from patients suspected of dengue virus infection (n = 220) and individuals not suspected of dengue virus infection (n = 45) were tested by the RT-iiPCR and compared to original test results using a DENV NS1 antigen rapid test and the qRT-PCR. The diagnostic agreement of the pan-DENV RT-iiPCR, NS1 antigen rapid test, and qRT-PCR tests was 93.9%, 84.5%, and 97.4%, respectively, compared to the composite reference results. This new RT-iiPCR assay along with the portable POCKIT nucleic acid analyzer could provide a highly reliable, sensitive, and specific point-of-need diagnostic assay for the diagnosis of DENV in clinics and hospitals in developing countries.

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Published in Journal of Clinical Microbiology, v. 54, no. 6, p. 1528-1535.

Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

The copyright holders have granted the permission for posting the article here.

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This work was supported by the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, Daejeon, Republic of Korea, and contracts awarded to U.B.R.B. at the Maxwell. H. Gluck Equine Research Center, Department of Veterinary Science, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Kentucky.

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Supplemental material for this article may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.00225-16.

zjm999094984so1.pdf (270 kB)
Supplementary Material: Supplementary data & Supplementary table 1-2