Low Rates of Antigen Detection and Virus Isolation from the Peripheral Blood Leukocytes of Dengue Fever Patients

S. H. WatermanDengue Branch, Division of Vector-Borne Viral Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services, GPO Box 4532, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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G. KunoDengue Branch, Division of Vector-Borne Viral Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services, GPO Box 4532, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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D. J. GublerDengue Branch, Division of Vector-Borne Viral Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services, GPO Box 4532, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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G. E. SatherDengue Branch, Division of Vector-Borne Viral Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services, GPO Box 4532, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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We evaluated direct fluorescent antibody (FA) testing of peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) from patients in Puerto Rico with serologically and/or virologically confirmed dengue fever as a possible rapid diagnostic test and compared rates of dengue virus isolation from PBL with the rates from plasma or serum using the mosquito inoculation technique. Dengue antigen was detected in the PBL of only 1 of 19 patients with confirmed dengue. Virus was isolated from 3 of 19 PBL specimens and from 6 of 19 acute-phase serum or plasma samples. Four viruses were obtained from serum or plasma only and 1 isolate came from PBL only. We conclude that FA testing of PBL from dengue fever patients has little promise as a rapid diagnostic technique. Despite small numbers, our data suggest that virus isolation from PBL is less sensitive than that from serum or plasma. Our results differ considerably from those of previous studies of dengue hemorrhagic fever patients conducted in Thailand.

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