Dengue is caused by a mosquito-borne flavivirus called Dengue virus (DENV).  There are four genetically distinct serotypes that can cause Dengue:   DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4.  These four viruses are transmitted by the mosquito strain Aedes aegypti.  DENV is a single stranded RNA positive-strand virus of the family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus. This genus includes also the West Nile virus, Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus, Yellow Fever Virus, and other viruses which can cause encephalitis.  DENV infections can cause a wide range of human diseases from a self limited Dengue fever to a life-threatening Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever or Dengue Shock Syndrome.

The CDC estimates that 400 million people are infected annually in the tropics and subtropics.  There is no vaccine and no effective treatment aside from supportive treatment if the disease is diagnosed early.  With more than one-third of the world’s population living in areas at risk for infection, dengue virus is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. As many as 400 million people are infected yearly. Dengue is caused by any one of four related viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. There are not yet any vaccines to prevent infection with dengue virus and the most effective protective measures are those that avoid mosquito bites. When infected, early recognition and prompt supportive treatment can substantially lower the risk of medical complications and death.

Dengue is endemic in Puerto Rico and in many popular tourist destinations in Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands but has not been reported in the United States.

Sample requirements:

It is best to collect serum samples in the first 5 days of symptoms.  0.5 mL of serum is required for the test.

Shipping requirement:

Samples must be shipped on ice packs or dry ice.  Please follow shipping regulations (Category B).  All samples must be accompanied by a physician’s test request and a form of payment.  We cannot accept samples from NY State physicians.

Test offered:

Real Time RT-PCR that detects all four serotypes

Turnaround time:

1-7 business days.





Manual of Clinical Microbiology.  Jorgensen, J.H., Paller, M.A., Carrol, K.C., Funke, G., Landry, M.L., Richter, S.S. and Warnock, D.D.  11th Edition, Volume II, 2015. ASM Press.