Dengue fever is a tropical disease that is spread by Aedes mosquitos carrying the Dengue Virus. The World Health Organisation has listed Dengue as one of the biggest global health threats in 2019, along with antimicrobial resistance, influenza, climate change and HIV1. Around 40 percent of the global population (3 billion) live in areas that put them at risk of contracting Dengue Fever1. In the past year alone, outbreaks have been reported in the Philippines, Bangladesh, Honduras and Jamaica among many other countries. Each year, nearly 390 million infections are recorded with around 22, 000 deaths caused each year from severe dengue – also known as dengue haemorrhagic fever.2

As there is currently no vaccination or cure for Dengue fever, prevention through the use of mosquito repellents/nets and rapid, early diagnosis is essential at minimizing the severity of this disease.

Risk of Dengue Fever across the world

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Symptoms of Dengue Fever

Common Symptoms of Dengue3Signs of Severe Dengue3
Widespread red rashSwollen stomach/abdominal pain
FeverPersistent vomiting /vomiting blood
Severe headacheBreathing difficulties
Muscle/Joint painCold, clammy skin
Nausea / VomitingWeak, fast pulse
Loss of appetiteBleeding gums
Pain behind the eyesDrowsiness/loss of consciousness


Dengue Rapid Tests – Fast and Efficient

Here at Rapid Labs, we are proud to supply a range of Dengue Rapid Tests to aid in the diagnosis and screening of dengue fever. Our Rapid Tests are a fast and efficient solution for detecting the presence of dengue viral antigens. These tests work by lateral flow immunochromatography, with results available in 10-20 minutes depending on the individual test. The Dengue Rapid Tests can be stored at room temperature, making them economical for long haul shipping and storage. The tests have a simple protocol: drop sample onto the device well, add buffer solution and wait. A line will appear on the T (test) region to indicate a positive result, as demonstrated in the diagram below:

Dengue Rapid Test

Rapid Tests for Dengue Fever

Dengue Antigen Rapid Test
Pack Size: 20 Tests
Sample Type: Whole blood/serum/plasma
Reaction Time: 10 minutes
Cat. No: D-DAG20

The Dengue Antigen Rapid Test Device detects NS1 antigens present in Dengue Fever. NS1 interacts with the host immune system and evokes the T cell response to produce IgG and IgM antibodies.4 This response has been used as a diagnostic marker of infection. This test is useful for the early indication of infection within the first few days, before the appearance of antibodies.


Dengue IgG/IgM Rapid Test
Pack Size: 20 Tests
Sample Type: Whole blood/serum/plasma
Reaction Time: 10 minutes
Cat. No: D-DGMD20

The Dengue IgG/IgM Rapid Test Device detects the presence of IgG/IgM antibodies. Primary Dengue infection causes IgM antibodies to increase to a detectable level in 3 to 5 days after the onset of fever. IgM antibodies generally persist for 30 to 90 days5. Most Dengue patients in endemic regions have secondary infections6, resulting in high levels of specific IgG antibodies prior to or simultaneous with IgM response7. Therefore, the detection of specific anti-Dengue IgM and IgG antibodies can also help to distinguish between primary and secondary infections – useful for screening for active dengue infections.

IgM positive + IgG Negative = Indicates primary Dengue infection
IgG positive + IgM negative = Indicates secondary Dengue infection
IgG + IgM Positive = Indicates end stage of primary infection and early stage of secondary infection
IgG + IgM Negative = Indicates no dengue infection. As with all other results, a positive line should appear in the control region to indicate the test has been performed correctly. If no control line appears, the result should be deemed invalid and the test should be repeated.


Dengue Antigen + IgG/IgM Duo Rapid Test
Pack Size: 20 Tests
Sample Type: Whole blood/serum/plasma
Reaction Time: 20-25 minutes
Cat. No: D-DAGMD20

The Dengue Antigen + IgG/IgM Duo Rapid Test Device includes tests for both NS1 dengue antigens and IgG/IgM antibodies. Concurrent evaluation for the NS1 antigen alongside testing for IgG/IgM antibodies to dengue provides optimal diagnostic potential for both early and late dengue disease8.

Chikungunya – Not to be mistaken for Dengue Fever

Both Chikungunya and Dengue are spread by infected Aedes mosquitos, and so are often present in the same areas. However, these diseases are caused by different viruses; Dengue is a result of the Flavideae flavivirus, whilst Chikungunya is caused by the alphavirus, Togaviridae. Both Dengue and Chikungunya infections present similar symptoms, although there are some key differences. Chikungunya is often associated with arthritic/joint problems, and very rarely leads to haemorrhagic complications.

The table below highlights the differences between dengue and Chikungunya9:

DurationIncubation time 3-7 days, duration of infection typically 4-7 daysIncubation time 1-12 days, duration of infection 1-2 weeks
SymptomsFever, rash, headache, joint painFever, headache, rash, muscle pain
Joint PainOften affects the lower back, arms, legs, knees and shouldersTypically affects the hands and feet, with pain more severe in the morning
Rash PresentationFace and limbsOften widespread across the body. Common areas include the face and torso
ComplicationsSevere dengue can result in haemmorhagic fever, respiratory complications, organ failure and deathUp to 10% of individuals develop chronic arthritis


Due to the similarities in the presence and pathogenesis of these two viral infections, Rapid Labs offer a Rapid Test for the differential diagnosis between Dengue and Chikungunya:

Dengue + CHIK (IgG/IgM – CHIK IgM) Rapid Test

Dengue vs chikungunya test

Pack size: 20 Tests
Sample Type: Whole blood/serum/plasma
Reaction Time: 10-15 minutes for CHIK IgM, 20-25 minutes for Dengue IgG/IgM
Cat. No: D-DGMCMD20

The Dengue + Chik (IgG/IgM-CHIK IgM) Rapid Test detects IgG and IgM anti-dengue virus on the left panel of the device and IgM anti-CHIK on the right panel of the device.


If you are interested in any of our Dengue Rapid Tests, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help you.

Tel: +44 (0) 1206 250484



1. WHO 2019: 10 Threats to global health in 2019. Last accessed 26th July 2019 at

2. Carabali et al, 2015. Why are people with dengue dying? A scoping review of determinants for dengue mortality. BMC Infectious Disease 15: 301

3. NHS Conditions: Dengue. Last accessed 29th July 2019 at

4. Beltrán-Silva et al (2018). Clinical and differential diagnosis: Dengue, chikungunya and Zika. Revista Médica del Hospital General de México 81 (3): 146-153

5. Ruechusatsawat K, et al. Daily observation of antibody levels among dengue patients detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Japanese J. Trop. Med. Hygiene 1994; 22: 9-12

6. Lam SK. Dengue haemorrhagic fever. Rev. Med. Micro. 1995; 6:39-48

7. Dengue haemorrhagic fever: diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control. 2nd edition. Geneva: World Health Organization

8. Mayo Clinic: Dengue Virus NS1 Antigen, Serum. Last accessed 29 July 2019 at

9. Goodyer, 2015. Dengue Fever and chikungunya: identification in travellers. Clinical Pharmacist. Last accessed 26 July 2019 at