Arbo-score: A rapid score for early identification of patients with imported arbovirosis caused by Dengue, Chikungunya and zika virus

Iacopo Vellere, Filippo Lagi, Michele Spinicci, Antonia Mantella, Elisabetta Mantengoli, Giampaolo Corti, Maria Grazia Colao, Federico Gobbi, Gian Maria Rossolini, Alessandro Bartoloni, Lorenzo Zammarchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Chikungunya (CHIKV), Dengue (DENV), and Zika (ZIKV) viruses present significant clinical and epidemiological overlap, making an accurate and rapid diagnosis challenging. Timely activation of preventive vector control measures is crucial to avoid outbreaks in non-endemic settings. Diagnosis is based on combination of serological and molecular assays which could be time consuming and sometimes disappointing. Methods: We report the results of a retrospective case-control study carried out at a tertiary teaching hospital in Italy, including all febrile subjects returning from tropical countries during the period 2014–2019. Controls were travelers with other febrile illnesses who tested negative in laboratory analysis for CHIKV, DENV, ZIKV arbovirosis. A score weighted on the regression coefficients for the independent predictors was generated. Results: Ninety patients were identified: 34 cases (22 DENV, 4 CHIKV, and 8 ZIKV) and 56 controls. According to our results, myalgia, cutaneous rash, absence of respiratory symptoms, leukopenia, and hypertransaminasemia showed the strongest association with arbovirosis. Combining these variables, we generated a scoring model that showed an excellent performance (AUC 0.93). The best cut-off (>=2) presented a sensitivity of 82.35% and specificity of 96.43%. Conclusion: A handy and simple score, based on three clinical data (myalgia, cutaneous rash and absence of respiratory symptoms) and two laboratory results (leukopenia and hypertransaminasemia), provides a useful tool to help diagnose arboviral infections and appropriately activate vector control measures in order to avoid local transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1731
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Chikungunya
  • Dengue
  • Diagnosis
  • Imported
  • Score
  • Timing
  • Travelers
  • Zika

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Virology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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