PloS one 2016 6 1011(6) e0155993 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0155993
Dengue results in a significant public health burden in endemic regions. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended the use of warning signs (WS) to stratify patients at risk of severe dengue disease in 2009. However, WS is limited in stratifying adult dengue patients at early infection (Day 1-3 post fever), who require close monitoring in hospitals to prevent severe dengue. The aim of this study is to identify and validate prognostic models, built with differentially expressed biomarkers, that enable the early identification of those with early dengue infection that require close clinical monitoring.
RNA microarray and protein assays were performed to identify differentially expressed biomarkers of severity among 92 adult dengue patients recruited at early infection from years 2005-2008. This comprised 47 cases who developed WS after first presentation and required hospitalization (WS+Hosp), as well as 45 controls who did not develop WS after first presentation and did not require hospitalization (Non-WS+Non-Hosp). Independent validation was conducted with 80 adult dengue patients recruited from years 2009-2012. Prognostic models were developed based on forward stepwise and backward elimination estimation, using multiple logistic regressions. Prognostic power was estimated by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC).
The WS+Hosp group had significantly higher viral load (P<0.001), lower platelet (P<0.001) and lymphocytes counts (P = 0.004) at early infection compared to the Non-WS+Non-Hosp group. From the RNA microarray and protein assays, the top single RNA and protein prognostic models at early infection were CCL8 RNA (AUC:0.73) and IP-10 protein (AUC:0.74), respectively. The model with CCL8, VPS13C RNA, uPAR protein, and with CCL8, VPS13C RNA and platelets were the best biomarker models for stratifying adult dengue patients at early infection, with sensitivity and specificity up to 83% and 84%, respectively. These results were tested in the independent validation group, showing sensitivity and specificity up to 96% and 54.6%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS
At early infection, adult dengue patients who later presented WS and require hospitalization have significantly different pathophysiology compared with patients who consistently presented no WS and / or require no hospitalization. The molecular prognostic models developed and validated here based on these pathophysiology differences, could offer earlier and complementary indicators to the clinical WHO 2009 WS guide, in order to triage adult dengue patients at early infection.