Performance of rapid tests in the management of dengue fever imported cases in Lazio, Italy 2014-2019

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In Italy, dengue virus is the most frequent agent of imported viral infections. The use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) may be of help as a preliminary user-friendly quick assay to facilitate dengue diagnosis, as ordinary laboratory diagnosis of dengue fever may require special efforts in terms of tools availability, interpretation of results, and skilled personnel. The performance of RDTs, however, may vary according to different epidemiological and laboratory background. Methods: We reviewed five years of laboratory records of two dengue RDT results (Colorimetric SD-Bioline Dengue-Duo-RDT and Fluorimetric SD-Biosensor-STANDARD-F-Dengue-RDT), able to detect viral NS1 antigen and specific IgM and IgG. Diagnostic parameters were calculated using as reference the results of molecular (RT-PCR) and serological (immunofluorescence, IFA) tests. Overall performance, calculated considering the final case definition, was included in the accuracy assessment of RDTs. Results: The combined use of NS1 and IgM/IgG RDT for the detection of acute dengue cases resulted in an overall sensitivity and specificity of 87.2% and 97.9% for Colorimetric RDT, 96.2% and 96.2% for Fluorimetric RDT. NS1 was the most reliable marker of acute infection, while IgM resulted falsely positive in nine samples, including sera derived from 2 Zika and 4 non-arbovirus infected patients. Conclusions: The inclusion of RDT in the diagnostic algorithm is of undeniable help in the prompt management and surveillance of dengue infection in non-endemic areas. Confirmatory tests are, however, necessary to rule in or rule out dengue fever diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-198
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • arbovirus
  • dengue virus
  • febrile patient management
  • Rapid diagnostic test
  • returning travellers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Performance of rapid tests in the management of dengue fever imported cases in Lazio, Italy 2014-2019'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this