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iGenetic's New Molecular Diagnostic Approach to Detect Dengue in First 24 Hours

Molecular diagnostic approach, a path-breaking method adopted by leading diagnostics company iGenetic, can accurately and rapidly diagnose viral infections including dengue.

Doctors have so far been confronted with the problem of managing a patient’s condition who have all the symptoms of dengue but the laboratory test results are yet to confirm the patient is suffering from the vector borne disease.

Doctors used to find them in a fix for days whether to start dengue medicines or not since it used to take 3-4 days for test results to determine that. However, with a change in the technique of diagnostic tests, it can now be found out within 24 hours whether a patient has been affected with dengue or not.

According to data from the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, DGHS, there were 1,57,220 cases of Dengue last year- over a 5.5-fold increase from 2010 to 2017. Deaths due to dengue infection have more than doubled over the same period

Missed or even delayed diagnosis can lead to severe complications due to dengue. Two-thirds of deaths from dengue are due to missed diagnosis necessitating use of a quick, reliable method for detection. Routine testing for dengue is done using ELISA to detect Nonstructural protein 1 (NS1), IgM and IgG. NS1 can be used for detection in the 1st 5 days after infection while IgM is detected only after 3-5 days of illness in cases of primary infection and persists for two or three months. IgG may appear in the same time-frame but persists life-long. However, IgM/IgG detection is not very specific for dengue and may cause false positives due to cross-reactivity with other Flaviviruses.

Additionally, none of these assays can be used for serotyping.

“Dengue and other viral infections are difficult to diagnose using conventional microbiological methods. Viral cultures are not commonly done by routine diagnostic labs and serological methods have low sensitivity and specificity. We have successfully employed molecular diagnostic approaches to accurately and rapidly diagnose viral infections. Even other complex conditions like Septicemia and CNS infections are diagnosed in 24 hours at iGenetic. Speed and accuracy of diagnosis are vital in critical care. Besides, our innovations help us keep prices affordable so that these services can be used even in smaller cities and villages.” says Arunima Patel, Founder and CEO, iGenetic Diagnostics.

With its innovative molecular assays, iGenetic Diagnostics can detect dengue virus in blood samples of patients at a very early stage of infection. This ensures timely treatment resulting inbetter outcomes for the patient. The company headquartered in Mumbai applies advanced PCR-based technologies to look for the genetic material of the pathogen in the patient’s sample. Dengue virus and hence, its RNA, is detectable in the blood from Day 1 to about Day 7. The highly sensitive method developed at iGenetic enables detection of dengue from Day 1.

Dengue virus has 4 serotypes- DENV1, DENV2, DENV3 and DENV4. All serotypes are found in India. Of these, DENV2 and DENV3 are frequently associated with severe disease accompanying secondary dengue infections. Once a person has been infected with one serotype, they have lifelong immunity from infection by that serotype. However, if an individual gets a Dengue infection again with a different serotype, disease progression is accelerated and severe, thereby proving deadly. So iGenetic has also developed a rapid Molecular Diagnostic test that can identify the serotype of the virus.

iGenetic specialises in molecular diagnostics, which applies molecular biology to medical testing to provide quicker and more accurate results. ? iGenetic has the capability to develop many in-house tests and products which are not available in the market today with several "first in the market" tests already commercialized.

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