Preliminary diagnosis is often based on the patient's clinical features, places and dates of travel (if patient is from a non-endemic country or area), activities, and epidemiologic history of the location where infection occurred.
Laboratory diagnosis of arboviral infections is generally accomplished by testing of serum or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to detect virus-specific IgM and neutralizing antibodies.
In fatal cases, nucleic acid amplification, histopathology with immunohistochemistry and virus culture of autopsy tissues can also be useful. Only a few state laboratories or other specialized laboratories, including those at CDC, are capable of doing this specialized testing.
Instructions for sending diagnostic specimens to the CDC Arbovirus Diagnostic Laboratory can be found at the following site: Instructions for Sending Diagnostic Specimens to the CDC Arbovirus Diagnostic Laboratory.
Test results are normally available 4 to 14 days after specimen receipt. Reporting times for test results may be longer during summer months when arbovirus activity increases. Receipt of a hard copy of the results will take at least 2 weeks after testing is completed. Initial serological testing will be performed using IgM capture ELISA, MIA (Microsphere-Based Immunoassay) and IgG ELISA. If the initial results are positive, further confirmatory testing may delay the reporting of final results. ALL RESULTS WILL BE SENT TO THE APPROPRIATE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT. Notify your state health department of any submissions to CDC.