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Test ID: DENGS Dengue Virus, Molecular Detection, PCR, Serum

Ordering Guidance

The presence of dengue virus nucleic acid in serum overlaps with the presence of dengue virus nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) antigen (DNSAG / Dengue Virus NS1 Antigen, Serum). Patients with a history of symptoms for more than 1 week may be negative by molecular tests (ie, real-time PCR) and may require serologic testing (DENVP / Dengue Virus Antibody/Antigen Panel, Serum) to confirm the diagnosis of dengue virus infection.

Specimen Required

Collection Container/Tube:

Preferred: Serum gel

Acceptable: Red top

Submission Container: Sterile container

Specimen Volume: 0.5 mL

Collection Instructions:

1. Collect whole blood in a serum gel tube.

2. Centrifuge and aliquot the serum into a sterile container within 6 hours of collection.

3. Label specimen as serum.

Useful For

Aiding in the diagnosis of acute infection caused by dengue virus

Testing Algorithm

See Mosquito-borne Disease Laboratory Testing in Special Instructions.

Method Name

Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

Reporting Name

Dengue Virus, PCR, Serum

Specimen Type


Specimen Minimum Volume

0.3 mL

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Serum Refrigerated (preferred) 7 days
  Frozen  7 days

Clinical Information

Dengue virus (DV) is a globally distributed flavivirus with 4 distinct serotypes (DV-1, -2, -3, -4) and is primarily transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, found throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of over 100 countries. DV poses a significant worldwide public health threat with approximately 2.5 to 3 billion people residing in DV endemic areas, among whom 100 to 200 million individuals will be infected and approximately 30,000 patients will succumb to the disease, annually.


Following dengue infection, the incubation period varies from 3 to 7 days and while some infections remain asymptomatic, the majority of individuals will develop classic dengue fever. Symptomatic patients become acutely febrile and present with severe musculoskeletal pain, headache, retro-orbital pain, and a transient macular rash most often observed in children. Fever defervescence signals disease resolution in most individuals. However, children and young adults remain at increased risk for progression to dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome, particularly during repeat infection with a new DV serotype.


Detection of DV nucleic acid in serum is a marker of acute infection with this virus. Importantly, the period of time that the virus can be detected in serum is brief and, therefore, molecular testing should be performed within the first week following onset of symptoms. After this time, serologic testing is the preferred method for diagnosis of DV infection.

Reference Values




The detection of dengue virus nucleic acid in serum is consistent with acute-phase infection.


Dengue virus nucleic acid may be detectable during the first 1 to 7 days following the onset of symptoms.



The absence of dengue nucleic acid in serum is consistent with the lack of acute-phase infection.


Dengue virus nucleic acid may not be detected if the serum specimen is collected immediately following dengue virus infection (<24-48 hours) and is rarely detectable following 7 days of symptoms.

Clinical Reference

1. Bhatt S, Gething PW, Brady OJ, et al: The global distribution and burden of dengue. Nature 2013;496:504-507

2. Dengue--an infectious disease of staggering proportions. Lancet 2013 Jun 22;381(9884):2136

3. Rigau-Perez JG, Clark GG, Gubler DJ, et al: Dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fever. Lancet 1998;352:971-977

4. Tang KF, Ooi EE: Diagnosis of dengue: an update. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther 2012;10:895-907

5. Guzman MG, Kouri G: Dengue diagnosis, advances and challenges. Int J Infect Dis 2004;8:69-80

Day(s) Performed

Tuesday, Thursday

Report Available

5 to 8 days

Test Classification

This test was developed, and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information


LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
DENGS Dengue Virus, PCR, Serum 7855-0


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
606372 Dengue Virus, PCR, Serum 7855-0
Mayo Clinic Laboratories | Microbiology and Infectious Disease Catalog Additional Information: