Laboratory Characteristics of Dengue Fever in Taiwan During 2009–2013

DOI: 10.6525/TEB.20150908.31(17).002

Shu-Kuan Lai, Chu-Tzu Chen, Yu-Min Chou

2015 Vol.31 NO.17

Correspondence Author: Shu-Kuan Lai

  • Division of Acute Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


World Health Organization has declared dengue is the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne disease in 2012. Located in subtropical regionand frequently in contact with dengue high-risk Southeast Asian countries with dengue ranks as the most important acute infectious disease, Taiwan has spent innumerable resources and manpower in dengue prevention and control. Since huge dengue epidemic might occur in the future, laboratory analysis of dengue cases wastaken for re-examining the benefits of laboratory diagnosis. The results showed in the followings: (1) On five-year average positive rate of medical institutions, the difference between imported dengue cases and indigenous casesis statistically significant; (2) 93% of dengue cases could be determined by first specimen result, and 40% of them were confirmed cases; 73% of dengue cases collected more than one specimen were confirmed cases; and (3) 75% of dengue confirmed cases were determined by PCR or NS1 in first specimen. The sensitivity of PCRor NS1 test in the first specimen was between 70.5% and 76.9%, and the sensitivity of IgM or IgG test in the second specimen was between 78.0% and 95.4%. These findings indicated that it is necessary to continually implement medical institutesvisits and physicians education training before epidemic seasons to remind physicians about dengue symptoms in order to improve positive rate; if the diagnosis is uncertain with the first specimen but due to the necessity of urgent preventive measures for reducing the risk of disease spreading, with sufficient public health resources, a second specimen shall be recommended. Moreover, it will cut down laboratory expenses and avoid disease spreading by strengthening the public health education in seeking medical treatment and self-report with suspected symptoms in no time, since diagnosis can be determined by rapid PCR or NS1 test and reducing second specimen collection.

Keywords:Dengue fever;Positive rate;Laboratory results;Sensitivity