Dengue IgM Test

The Dengue IgM test is a commonly used diagnostic procedure for individuals showing symptoms of dengue fever. Diagnosing dengue fever without laboratory testing can be challenging as the early symptoms may resemble those of other infections, such as malaria. Therefore, the Dengue IgM test is an essential tool for accurate diagnosis.

If the test results for both IgM and IgG antibodies are negative, it may indicate that the patient does not have dengue fever, or the antibody level may be too low to detect. This underscores the importance of using serology testing to confirm dengue fever diagnosis accurately.

What is the dengue IgM test used for?

When both IgM and IgG dengue antibodies test positive in the first blood sample, it suggests a recent dengue infection. However, a high IgG level with low or no IgM indicates an infection in the past. In addition, if the titre of dengue IgG antibodies increases by four-fold or more between the first and second samples taken 2 to 4 weeks apart, it indicates a recent infection.

These antibody testing methods are crucial for identifying and tracking dengue infections, which can be challenging to diagnose due to their similarities to other diseases.

What happens during the dengue IgM test?

A blood test is used to detect the presence of the dengue virus in your bloodstream. A medical professional will use a tiny needle to take blood from a vein in the arm during the test. This process is quick and safe, and you may feel a slight sting when the needle is inserted or removed.

The doctor will collect a small amount of blood and place it into a vial or test tube. This blood sample will be sent to a laboratory for analysis, where a specialised test will be conducted to detect the presence of the dengue virus. Blood testing is a vital tool in diagnosing dengue fever accurately, and early detection can help prevent severe complications associated with the disease.

How do I understand the test results of the dengue IgM test?

If a patient tests positive for IgM antibodies, it indicates a recent dengue virus infection. For individuals with unconfirmed cases or negative IgM results after seven days of symptoms, another round of serological testing is conducted before day 8 to confirm the diagnosis.

Dengue virus antigen detection is conducted using NAAT or NS1 tests to further confirm a negative IgM result. If the results of these tests are negative after seven days of symptoms, it suggests that the patient does not have a dengue virus infection.

The doctor may suggest an IgM test to check for dengue infection if you experience high fever and flu-like symptoms during the monsoon season or dengue outbreaks.

Along with the IgM test, the doctor may also recommend a complete blood count (CBC) to assess the severity of the infection. Dengue fever symptoms are:

  • Eye pain and headaches
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • High fever
  • Swollen glands
  • Nausea, vomiting, and lack of appetite

If you see any of these symptoms, contact the healthcare provider for a dengue IgM test.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When is the dengue IgM test recommended?

The dengue IgM test is recommended if someone is experiencing high fever, other flu-like and dengue symptoms.

2. How soon after exposure can the dengue IgM test detect the virus?

The dengue IgM test can detect the virus as early as 4–5 days after the onset of symptoms.

3. What is the significance of IgM and IgG antibodies in dengue virus infections?

IgM antibodies indicate a recent infection, whereas IgG antibodies indicate a past infection or immunity.

4. When should you retest for dengue?

The dengue PCR test should be performed within 5 days after symptoms start.

5. Is dengue fever treatable?

Yes, dengue fever is treatable by managing its symptoms, such as fever and pain, and staying well-hydrated. In severe cases, hospitalisation may be required.

6. What is the cost of the dengue IgM test?

The average price of the dengue IgM test is Rs 1000 to Rs 1500.