EPIDEMIOLOGY OF DENGUE FEVER AND UTILITY OF DENGUE NS1 ANTIGEN RAPID DIAGNOSTIC POINT OF CARE TEST AT COMBINED MILITARY HOSPITAL MALIR
Objective: To investigate the incidence and epidemiology of Dengue fever, and to evaluate the utility of NS1 antigen test for the rapid diagnosis of disease at Combined Military Hospital Malir, Karachi.
Study Design: Cross sectional prospective study.
Place and Duration of Study: Study was carried out at Combined Military Hospital Malir Cantt Karachi, form Jan to Dec 2018.
Methodology: Patients with acute febrile illness that reported to Combined Military Hospital Malir Cantt Karachi, Pakistan were enrolled in our study. The diagnosis was made on the basis of Dengue Serology by one or more of the following tests NS1 antigen, IgM or both by using ICT methods and a compatible clinical picture. The demographic characteristics, clinical features were noted.
Results: A total of 993 sera were collected from patients with suspected dengue infection out of which 89 were laboratory-confirmed dengue cases suggesting the incidence of dengue fever of 8.96%. Positive NS1 antigen alone was observed in majority of the cases with the frequency of 78 males and 07 females. NS1 antigen along with IgM antibody was observed in 1 male and 1 female only. Peak incidence was seen in the age group of 21-40 years i.e. 71%.
Conclusion: Diagnosis of Dengue Virus infection can be established early by keeping high suspicion for dengue in patients who presents with an acute febrile illness by using rapid diagnostic test that is dengue specific NS1 antigen along with IgM and IgG antibodies.