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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Mosquito-Borne Viral Diseases. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Laboratory Diagnosis of Chikungunya Virus

Patients typically have lymphopenia, thrombocytopenia, elevated creatinine, and elevated liver transaminases. Diagnosis can be accomplished by viral culture of blood in the first three days; however, chikungunya is a biosafety level-3 (BSL-3) pathogen. RT-PCR in the first week and IgM antibodies after the first four days can be positive in serum or plasma. Serological tests may not be positive until after the first week of illness. Confirmation is by acute and convalescent plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) for IgG antibodies, which is required because antibodies to other mosquito-borne diseases cross-react with chikungunya virus. Most testing is performed in public health laboratories or the CDC, and some commercial laboratories may offer testing.