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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 2420-2423

Simultaneous detection of IgM antibodies against dengue and chikungunya: Coinfection or cross-reactivity?

1 Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
2 Department of Microbiology, SGT Medical College Hospital and Research Institute, Gurugram, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kumar S Abhishek
Resident's Hostel, AIIMS Residential Complex, AIIMS Campus, Basni Phase 2, Jodhpur - 342 005, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_365_19

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Background: Dengue and chikungunya sharing same mosquito vector are two most important arboviruses circulating in northern India including Delhi and are responsible for frequent outbreaks. Antigen and antibodies detection ELISA kits are the major tool to diagnose these viral illnesses, and are sometimes associated with cross–reactivity, giving a false picture of coinfection, although simultaneous harboring of both the viruses is not uncommon. Various studies have reported coinfection up to 25% from the same region. Procedure: This study was conducted in the Department of Microbiology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, during the month of September 2016 which included 200 blood samples from clinically suspected cases attending Medicine OPD of associated Lok Nayak Hospital, New Delhi. Diagnosis of dengue and chikungunya was made using NS-1 antigen and IgM MAC ELISA for dengue and IgM MAC ELISA for chikungunya as per manufacturer's instructions. Results: Out of 200 suspected cases, 34 (17%) were positive for dengue serology, 77 (38.5%) were positive for chikungunya serology, and 29.9% of positive chikungunya cases were simultaneously affected with dengue. This higher percentage of coinfection might be because of cross-reactivity of the ELISA kits. Discussion: India being a hyperendemic region for dengue and chikungunya, frequent outbreaks are quite common. Circulation of both the virus and huge susceptible population are the major causes for frequent outbreaks. Restricting our attention to diagnose one of them is not sufficient, and coinfection further complicates the illness. Conclusion: Simultaneous diagnosis of dengue and chikungunya is need of time to diagnose dual infection and prevent complications by starting supportive treatment well in time. Molecular technique if ever possible should be employed whenever the coinfection number is higher than expected to rule out cross-reactivity.

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