Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

  • Indian scientists develop dipstick test for dengue


Indian researchers have developed simple, safe and cost-effective dipstick for the early detection of dengue fever.

The test does not require skilled manpower or complicated equipment and could easily be used in resource-poor settings.

The researchers say its low cost, sensitivity and ease of use make it better than current tests for dengue.

Nagesh Tripathi and colleagues at the India-based Defence Research and Development Establishment developed a way to efficiently produce a protein that the dengue virus uses.

The protein was incorporated into a dipstick that shows a brown dot if a patient's blood sample contains antibodies to the virus — indicating an infection.

The team are yet to work out how much the dipstick will cost commercially, and say that further testing of how the dipstick works if a patient has another viral infection — such as typhoid or malaria — is necessary.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease affecting several tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It causes an estimated 100 million infections every year, with no effective vaccine against it.

While the disease itself is rarely fatal, a complication known as dengue haemorrhagic fever kills 20 per cent of victims if they do not receive treatment.

Dengue has recently undergone a dramatic expansion in several parts of Southeast Asia (see A killer arises: the global resurgence of dengue), making early diagnosis extremely
important for controlling outbreaks.

The research was published online last week (27 January) in Biotechnology Progress.

Link to abstract of paper in Biotechnology Progress

Reference: Biotechnology Progress doi: 10.1021/bp0602698 S8756-7938(06)00269-4 (2007)

We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.