Background Dengue is a major health problem. The lack of consensus on excellent rapid diagnostic test for early detection of dengue infection has generated interest to determine the validity of dengue IgA versus NS1 as rapid test in the early diagnosis of dengue with hemagglutination inhibition (HI) as standard reference among paediatric patients up to < 19 years old seen a private hospital from March, 1, 2012 to October, 30, 2012.
Methods Paired serum samples were examined from 51 patients suspected of dengue with fever of not more than 7 days. There were 29 males and 22 females. Initial blood samples were collected on the first day of consult and tested for IgA, NS1, and HI. Second blood samples for HI were collected 7 days after the initial extraction.
Results From 51 samples, sensitivity of dengue IgA was 80% with 95% CI (70–90) while specificity was at 50% with 95% CI (36–64) versus NS1 which showed sensitivity of 27% with 95% CI (15–39) and specificity of 67% with 95% CI (54–86). IgA rapid test demonstrated 71% positivity in detecting acute primary dengue infection and 82% for acute secondary dengue infection. NS1 detected 43% of primary dengue infection and 24% of secondary dengue infection.
Conclusions Dengue IgA was more sensitive for early diagnosis of dengue and had better performance in detecting primary and secondary of dengue than NS1.