METHODS: This study compared assays currently used for detecting DENV infection at the Florida Department of Health including anti-DENV IgM and IgG ELISAs as well as qRT-PCR, against a commercially available DENV NS1 ELISA. These comparisons were made among a group of 21 human sera.
RESULTS: Nine of 14 (64.3%) DENV qRT-PCR+ samples were also DENV NS1+. Interestingly, the 5 NS1- samples that were qRT-PCR+ were additionally IgM- and IgG+ suggesting a nonprimary infection. Compared to qRT-PCR, the NS1 assay had a sensitivity of 64.3%, specificity 100%, PPV of 100%, and NPV of 58.3%.
CONCLUSIONS: The NS1 ELISA performed as expected in known DENV qRT-PCR+ samples; however negative NS1 results for qRT-PCR+ and IgG+ sera seemingly reduced the usefulness of the NS1 ELISA for nonprimary cases. We therefore conclude that diagnosis obtained via DENV NS1 ELISA deserves further investigation.