Researchers including from India have developed low-cost, rapid diagnostic test consisting of pan-dengue strip for diagnosing Zika and dengue viruses and differentiating four serotypes of dengue virus.
Zika and dengue both belong to same viral family, which are called flaviviruses. They are two closely related viruses spread by the same mosquito
The test resembles pregnancy test strip and contains antibodies that react to presence of Zika or dengue virus, and also contains gold nanoparticles that respond to antibody reaction. It does not have cross-reactivity leading to wrong diagnosis as antigens specific to dengue and Zika viruses were identified.
To use the test, medical professional dipped strip into a tube of either blood serum or whole blood of patient. If the test is positive, then dot or line was seen on the strip that results from seeing gold nanoparticles that signal antibodies recognising viral protein.
The diagnostic test has nearly 100% ability to distinguish between two virus infections. It has nearly 76-100% sensitivity and specificity in case of dengue and in case of Zika, it has 81% sensitivity and 86% specificity.