Dengue virus testing in one step using a single tube
6 Jan 2015. NUS professors have developed a simple and highly sensitive assay for the detection of all four types of Dengue virus in a single test tube.
Dengue virus poses significant global health risks for people living in tropical and subtropical countries. Although many infections are mild, 5–10% of them are severe and even fatal. In spite of extensive research efforts, no vaccines for Dengue are available. The most effective prevention is to arrest the multiplication of mosquito vectors. Therefore, early and rapid detection of Dengue infection is crucial for proper patient management and prevention of the spread of the disease. Apart from vector control, the burden of Dengue on society can also be reduced through appropriate and timely clinical interventions to prevent severe morbidity and mortality. The clinical diagnosis of Dengue is mainly based on the physiological symptoms and physical examination; this is especially adopted in Dengue endemic areas like Singapore. However, the symptoms of Dengue infection in the first few days are difficult to differentiate from other viral infections.
A team led by Prof GAO Zhiqiang from the Department of Chemistry in NUS has developed a simple and highly sensitive assay for the detection of all four types of Dengue virus in a single test tube. There is a great demand for the rapid detection and differentiation of Dengue infection in order to provide timely clinical treatment and etiologic investigation and disease control. A simple, highly sensitive and selective, and easy-to-use assay is needed for routine Dengue virus screening where Dengue is endemic. Considered as the “gold standard”, the diagnosis of Dengue infection can be unambiguously confirmed by microbiological laboratory testing. With the backdrop of frequent outbreaks of Dengue in Singapore, the microbiological laboratory tests are tedious and time-consuming. Therefore, there is an ever-increasing need for rapid and accurate diagnostic assay to detect Dengue virus at point-of-care. In this work, the team developed a simple and ultrasensitive assay for the detection and serotyping of all four Dengue viruses in one step in a single tube within 60 min (see Figure). The demonstrated capability of the proposed assay in highly selective detection and serotyping of Dengue virus clearly suggests that it is an attractive candidate for the development of a fast, simple, and robust assay for ultrasensitive detection and serotyping of Dengue virus in a Doctor's office.
The figure shows four Dengue viruses in one step using a single tube. [Image credit: GAO Zhiqiang]
Shen W, Gao ZQ. “Quantum dots and duplex-specific nuclease enabled ultrasensitive detection and serotyping of Dengue viruses in one step in a single tube” Biosensors and Bioelectronics.65 (2015) 327.