The incidence of dengue has increased 30-fold over the last 50 years. Up to 50-100 million infections are now estimated to occur annually in over 100 endemic countries, putting almost half of the world’s population at risk.
At the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Dr. Navin Khanna developed a test that can help address this problem. The three-in-one ‘Dengue Day 1 test’ can detect dengue fever within minutes on day one of the fever, affordably in resource-poor settings. It can differentiate between primary and secondary dengue virus infections, which is so vital for clinical management of dengue infected individuals. Interestingly, it can also detect the presence of the virus in a mosquito. This breakthrough will bring a sigh of relief as the incidence of dengue has increased 30 fold over last 50 years. The test kit is now a market leader in India, having captured more than 80% market share with more than 6 million tests sold in 2016 alone. Its cost is 3 to 4 times less than a conventional test. The test kit is now being exported to other countries too.