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Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and dengue virus (DENV) are arboviruses that share the same Aedes mosquito vector, and there is much overlap in endemic areas. In India, co-infection with both viruses is often reported. Clinical manifestations of Chikungunya fever is often confused with dengue fever because clinical symptoms of both infections are similar. It is, therefore, difficult to differentiate from those of other febrile illnesses, especially dengue fever. We previously developed a CHIKV antigen detection immunochromatography (IC) rapid diagnosis kit . The current study examined the efficacy of previously mentioned IC kit in India, a dengue-endemic country.
Sera from 104 CHIKV-positive (by qRT-PCR) and/or IgM-positive (ELISA) subjects collected in 2016, were examined. Fifteen samples from individuals with CHIKV-negative/DENV-positive and 4 samples from healthy individuals were also examined. Of the 104 CHIKV-positive sera, 20 were co-infected with DENV.
The sensitivity, specificity and overall agreement of the IC assay were 93.7, 95.5 and 94.3%, respectively, using qRT-PCR as a gold standard. Also, there was a strong, statistically significant positive correlation between the IC kit device score and the CHIKV RNA copy number. The IC kit detected CHIKV antigen even in DENV-co-infected patient sera and did not cross-react with DENV NS1-positive/CHIKV-negative samples.
The results suggest that the IC kit is useful for rapid diagnosis of CHIKV in endemic areas in which both CHIKV and DENV are circulating.