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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)