Is Reactive Dengue NS1Antigen Test a Warning Call for Hospital Admissions? SC04-SC07
Dr. Sriram Pothapregada,
Plot No 7 and 8, Ground Floor, Logu Nagar, PO: Dhanvantri Nagar, Puducherry-605006, India.
Introduction: Dengue fever is a major public health problem worldwide. The 2011 revised World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines have emphasized on early diagnosis and intervention to reduce the case fatality rate due to dengue fever. Rapid diagnostic tests like NS1 antigen assays have improved the detection of cases in early clinical phase of illness but its role as a predictor of severe dengue infection is not very clear.
Aim: To evaluate the utility of NS1 Ag assay as an early diagnostic marker and predictor of severe dengue infection.
Materials and Methods: All children (0-12 years of age) diagnosed and confirmed with dengue fever at a tertiary care hospital in Puducherry between 01st August 2012 and 31st July 2015 were reviewed retrospectively from hospital case records as per the revised WHO guidelines for dengue fever. The diagnosis was confirmed by NS1antigen-based ELISA test or dengue serology for IgM and IgG antibodies and the data were analysed using SPSS 16.0 statistical software. After collecting all the data, all the variables were summarised by descriptive statistics. Categorical variables were expressed as frequencies and percentages, and then analysed by the ?2 test or fishers exact test, where appropriate. Significance was taken at p-value< 0.05.
Results: Among the 261 confirmed cases of dengue fever non-severe dengue and severe dengue infection was seen in 60.9% and 39.1% respectively. The mean age of presentation was 6.9 years and M:F ratio was 1.2:1. NS1 Ag was positive in 217 cases (83.1%) and among them non-severe dengue and severe dengue was seen in 65.9% and 34.1% cases respectively. A total of 44 cases (16.9%) were negative for NS1 Ag assay and positive for IgM MAC ELISA and among them 16 children (36.4%) had non-severe dengue infection where as 28 children (63.6%) had severe dengue infection. Secondary infection with (MAC-ELISA IgG) was seen in 17 cases (6.5%). NS1Ag assay was predominantly positive in acute phase sera, where as IgM/IgG MAC ELISA was predominantly positive in convalescent phase sera. There were six deaths (2.3%) and the common causes of poor outcome were multiorgan failure, encephalopathy and refractory shock.
Conclusion: NS1 Ag assay is a useful early diagnostic marker for dengue fever but cannot be used as an early predictor of severe dengue infection. The criteria for admission in hospitals of cases of dengue fever should be based on clinical warning signs rather than positive NS1 Antigen test.