• Medical Research Institute - Sri Lanka

    The premier medical research institute in Sri Lanka
  • Medical Research Institute - Sri Lanka

    The premier medical research institute in Sri Lanka
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Current Dengue status in the country

Currently, circulating predominant sero-type is dengue serotype two(DENV 2). However, DENV 1,3, and 4 also detected in scarce numbers during recent laboratory testing
Since the peripheral hospitals opened the service for rapid dengue NS1 testsing (ICT), number of samples received to MRI is kind of low.
However, with the  test data seasonality and predominant circulating sero- type can be identified.
Further, this numbers do not reflect the exact dengue infection/disease burden or dengue cases in the country.
The MRI has real time PCR based stereotyping facility and it is open free for state sector hospitals and for private it is at a cost of 12,000 SLR.
We are using Real time PCR, based on Taqman chemistry with primers, probes and enzymes basically. Since we do not have antiviral for dengue infection, detecting viral load(quantifying) is not useful and qualitative detection is adequate for clinical support. To give the viral load it is necessay to generate a standard curve, which again need another four or five reactions at least in the initial stage. To make the assay more sensitive assay should be validated with very low detection levels such as one copy per mL. Further, if you are interested to  know about the CDC dengue serotyping  realtime PCR assay I am more than happy to give details since I was in the validation team
If any one need more information or clarification on dengue data or testing please contact below email or telephone numbers.
Dengue laboratory test data, serology testing, real time PCR serotyping dine at Department of Virology, MRI.

Dengue Diagnosis / testing

Dengue virus Real time PCR Test (qualitative assay) available at MRI

Brief guideline for sending – samples


Time of Sample collection

Sample type/ Volume/ Container

Test Availability

Transport and short term storage

Very brief history is mandatory highlighting the day of illness which the blood was collected for testing

Fill all the other fields in the request form very clearly.
Container should be properly labeled.

Sample should be collected
with-in first five days of illness (early sample)

Late samples (after day 6 of illness) should not be accepted for the Dengue PCR test

Blood in EDTA tube or plain red top tube,
minimum 2mL volume

Heparinized or very low volume samples
(< 2 mL) may not be accepted for testing

The assay is performed minimum of
2 times per week depending on the test volume
Specimen should be transported to the laboratory at 2 to 8°C as soon as possible,
if in delay they may be stored in the refrigerator at 2 to 8°C up to 2 days before being tested

Dr. J I Abeynayake
MB.BS., Dip. Medical Micro., MD
Post MD Stanford CA, USA
Consultant Medical Virologist
Head, Department of Virology
Medical Research Institute
Colombo 8, Sri Lanka
Tel: + 94 11 269 7280
Tel: +94 11 269 3532-4  Ext 432/ +94 719900940
+94 71 9900940
Fax: +94 11 269 1495