Dengue fever test is used to know whether an individual who is showing symptoms and signs and was exposed recently has been infested with dengue virus. This type of infection is not easy to diagnose. It required laboratory testing since the same symptoms resemble other diseases, like chikungunya infection. There are two main typed of dengue fever test, and these are antibody tests and molecular testing.
Two types of blood test for Dengue
This is primarily used in diagnosing recent or current infection. They identify two types of antibodies created by the infected patient in accordance to the infection caused by dengue fever, IgM and IgG. The diagnosis may need combination of both tests since the immune system of the human’s body produces different levels of antibodies throughout the duration of the sickness.
IgM antibodies are highly effective when performed 7 to 10 days, at the least, after being exposed to the virus. The blood level rises for few weeks and will gradually decrease. Few month after, IgM antibodies will fall below level that is detectable.
IgG on the other hand are produced slower in relation to a specific infection. The level will arise typically with an infection that is acute, will stabilise and persists long term. Those who are exposed to Dengue virus before the current infection will keep a level of this antibody in his or her blood that could affect the reading of the result.
This test can identify dengue virus genetic materials in a patient’s blood just within first week once the symptom, like fever, appear and this test can as well pinpoint which amongst the four serotypes is triggering the infection.
A type of RT-PCR test could identify dengue while the other two viruses that are mosquito borne, chikungunya and Zika, and determine which amongst the three is present. There are only limited laboratories that can perform such test, most of the time public health utilities. Although this testing may not be available in clinics and hospitals, medical practitioners can order it from their local and state public health departments. The result can be provided in four days up to two weeks-time.
This type of test may not be the best test to take after seven days of being ill as it may not identify the dengue virus.
Dengue can be a deadly disease, yet if treated immediately patient can successfully surpass this sickness. Proper testing is necessary to ensure that the real culprit of the virus will be identified and the result of the test primarily will be used to treat the dengue virus.