A new test kit that can diagnose dengue fever in early stage was launched in India Monday by the California-headquartered Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc, a multinational manufacturer and distributor of life science research products and clinical diagnostics.
Called the PLATELIA(tm) DENGUE NS1 Ag Assay, the kit helps to diagnose dengue on the first day of symptoms, the company said in a statement.
"The test kit - the first in the Indian market - is based on the specific detection of dengue virus NS1 antigen. While existing dengue tests identify the virus indirectly by detecting antibodies, which are produced only four to six days after the appearance of the first symptoms, the new test is able to detect the virus from the first day of symptoms," the company stated.
The kit, developed by Bio-Rad in partnership with the Pasteur Institute in France, is an ELISA test that enables detection of the NS1 dengue virus antigen as soon as the first clinical signs appear.
This ability to detect the presence of the NS1 antigen enables earlier detection of the infection compared to the conventional serological methods currently used, saving at least six days' time, the company stated.
Test performance has been confirmed through evaluations led by Bio-Rad teams as well as by reference laboratories of countries directly affected by the disease, including India, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Brazil and Guyana.
"Early detection of dengue is critical as it means that we can provide the appropriate treatment as soon as possible. With this test, it is now possible to bring down fatality rates significantly," said Dhiren Wagle, country manager of Bio-Rad India.
Wagle hoped the kit would help health agencies in India in the effective control and management of the disease that has claimed 50 lives in the recent weeks while the number of those infected has reached over 3,000.