MORU is active in the evaluation of rapid diagnostic assays to aid patient management in low-technology settings.
A global network of dengue diagnostics laboratories has been developed to produce specimen panels and to evaluate commercially available dengue tests under the direction of the Paediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative and the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases dengue diagnostic network (PDVI-WHO/TDR dengue network). MORU is a collaborating laboratory in the PDVI-WHO/TDR dengue network laboratories to evaluate diagnostic tools to detect acute dengue virus infection.
In the first round of dengue rapid test evaluations, sponsored by WHO WPRO, eight tests detecting anti-DENV serum IgM were evaluated using a panel of well-characterized serum samples which demonstrated generally poor sensitivity for acute diagnosis. Current studies are evaluating assays that detect dengue virus NS1 antigen combined with conventional IgM antibody detection assays and results demonstrate improved diagnostic accuracy of acute dengue infection.