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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project


Biological Sciences


Dengue viruses, Polymerase chain reaction-Diagnostic use, Molecular biology, Communicable diseases-Diagnosis, Public health-Developing countries, Dengue, Infectious disease, NTDs/Neglected tropical disease, diagnos*, Developing countries, Public health, PCR, Surveillance


Over half of the world's population lives in areas at risk for dengue fever, a disease that has been rapidly increasing over the past twenty years. Dengue is a single stranded RNA virus, spread by mosquitos in all tropical and most subtropical climates. Without any specific vaccines or treatment, public health measures against dengue virus have focused on improving diagnosis and increased surveillance of the seroprevalence of dengue in at-risk populations. While there are several types of diagnostic tests, those based on PCR detection of viral RNA offer a lot of promise as a test that is both quick and highly sensitive and specific. This project focuses on the development of a qRT-PCR based diagnostic test that was designed to account for a wider range of genetic diversity in the four types of dengue than past tests have been able to. Almost all diagnostic tests are most sensitive to the geographic region they were developed for, but cannot be applied universally in dengue virus detection. This project plans to bypass this limitation by designing targets for our diagnostic test based on all of the sequences of dengue virus recorded in GenBank as of 2014. Preliminary assessments of the sensitivity and specificity of this diagnostic test offer promising results, and have clarified issues that need to be addressed in future research.




42 pages : illustrations. Honors project-Smith College, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 41-42)