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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Detection of dengue viral RNA using a nucleic acid sequence-based amplification assay.

Faster techniques are needed for the early diagnosis of dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever during the acute viremic phase of infection. An isothermal nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA) assay was optimized to amplify viral RNA of all four dengue virus serotypes by a set of universal primers and to type the amplified products by serotype-specific capture probes. The NASBA assay involved the use of silica to extract viral nucleic acid, which was amplified without thermocycling. The amplified product was detected by a probe-hybridization method that utilized electrochemiluminescence. Using normal human plasma spiked with dengue viruses, the NASBA assay had a detection threshold of 1 to 10 PFU/ml. The sensitivity and specificity of the assay were determined by testing 67 dengue virus-positive and 21 dengue virus-negative human serum or plasma samples. The "gold standard" used for comparison and evaluation was the mosquito C6/36 cell culture assay followed by an immunofluorescent assay. Viral infectivity titers in test samples were also determined by a direct plaque assay in Vero cells. The NASBA assay was able to detect dengue viral RNA in the clinical samples at plaque titers below 25 PFU/ml (the detection limit of the plaque assay). Of the 67 samples found positive by the C6/36 assay, 66 were found positive by the NASBA assay, for a sensitivity of 98.5%. The NASBA assay had a specificity of 100% based on the negative test results for the 21 normal human serum or plasma samples. These results indicate that the NASBA assay is a promising assay for the early diagnosis of dengue infections.[1]


  1. Detection of dengue viral RNA using a nucleic acid sequence-based amplification assay. Wu, S.J., Lee, E.M., Putvatana, R., Shurtliff, R.N., Porter, K.R., Suharyono, W., Watts, D.M., King, C.C., Murphy, G.S., Hayes, C.G., Romano, J.W. J. Clin. Microbiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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