image of Implementation of a Multiplex rRT-PCR for Zika, Chikungunya, and Dengue Viruses: Improving Arboviral Detection in an Endemic Region
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Arboviral diagnosis has been complicated throughout the tropical and subtropical Americas by the recent co-circulation of Zika virus (ZIKV), chikungunya virus (CHIKV), and dengue virus (DENV). The aim of this study was to implement a multiplex real-time RT-PCR (rRT-PCR) for ZIKV, CHIKV, and DENV in Paraguay to test patients who were clinically suspected of having dengue. We tested 110 sera from patients who presented to the Hospital de Clínicas in 2016 and had testing for DENV nonstructural protein 1 (NS1; 40 positive and 70 negative). Using a composite reference standard, we confirmed 51 dengue cases (46.4%): 38/40 NS1 positive and 13/70 NS1 negative. Chikungunya virus and ZIKV were detected in one sample each, both were DENV NS1 negative. The NS1 test demonstrated good agreement with rRT-PCR for DENV. However, multiplex rRT-PCR identified a subset of dengue cases and additional arboviral infections that would not be detected if NS1 assays are relied upon for diagnosis.


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  • Received : 25 Sep 2019
  • Accepted : 16 Dec 2019
  • Published online : 13 Jan 2020
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