How Is Dengue Fever Diagnosed?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

I need information about the laboratory diagnosis of dengue fever. Please provide some technical detail (the ELISA test, etc.) Thanks.

Doctor's response

The clinical laboratory findings of dengue fever include low levels of white blood cells (leukopenia) and platelets (thrombocytopenia) and, often, an elevated level of the enzyme serum aminotransferase.

The diagnosis of dengue fever is usually confirmed in the laboratory by serologic tests on blood samples from the patient. (In very technical terms, this is done by antigen-detection ELISA or PR-PCR during the acute phase of the disease or by IgM ELISA or paired serology during the recovery phase of dengue fever).

During the acute phase of the illness, the dengue virus that causes the disease can also be readily isolated from the patient's bloodstream.

We hope that this gives you enough technical information about the laboratory diagnosis of dengue fever.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018
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