Test: Dengue Virus RNA Detection 
  Synonym: Arbovirus, dengue virus RT-PCR 
  Method: RT-Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) 
  Availability: Test performed Monday-Friday; Turn-around time 1-3 weeks 
  Specimen: Serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) 
  Collection Device: Clot (Red) or SST(Gold) tube
CSF collection tube

Specimen Labeling: Test subject to CLIA regulations and require 2 patient identifiers on specimen container and requisition forms. 
  Volume: Serum: 1 mL (0.25 mL minimum). Additional testing for dengue and Zika requires separate containers.
CSF: 1.0 mL 
  Storage/Transport: Centrifuge and aliquot serum into sterile leak-proof tube, ASAP. Place both CSF and serum at 4°C.

Shipping instructions, including specimen handling requirements during transport: Sender should contact the NPHL by email or phone before shipping. Ship specimen Monday -Thursday overnight to avoid weekend deliveries. Refrigerated, specimen should be shipped on cold packs. Package and ship as Category B, Biological Substance, UN3373. See instructions and shipping address: http://nphl.org/. Do not send directly to CDC. 
  Unacceptable: Severely lipemic, icteric or hemolyzed samples; heat-inactivated serum; multiple freeze thaw cycles 
  Specimen Stability: 2-8 °C for 72 hours, if > 3 days, freeze 
  Reference Interval: NEGATIVE - No significant level of detectable dengue virus RNA
POSITIVE – Dengue virus RNA detected 
  Reportable Disease: A positive result is reportable as Arbovirus infection under Title 173, report within 7 days 
  Comments: Pre-approval needed from state or local health department. Local or State Health Department. Send approval to NPHL@unmc.edu or call (402) 559-9444.

Supplemental Forms Required - NPHL Special Microbiology Requisition must accompany the specimen to include the following information: symptoms and date of onset, pregnancy status, travel and vaccine history.


During the first 7 days of these illnesses, viral RNA can often be identified in serum, and RT-PCR is the preferred test for all chikungunya, dengue and Zika viruses. Refer to Dengue Fever Virus Antibody IgM test for specimens collected after 7 days. 
  Revised: 2/5/2016