New test predict dengue fever complications

Excerpt of coverage on ChannelNews Asia is as follows:

New test can predict more accurately dengue fever complications

Researchers in Singapore have found a way to predict more accurately if dengue fever patients could develop complications.

SINGAPORE: Researchers in Singapore have found a way to predict more accurately if dengue fever patients could develop complications. 

Until now, there has been no clear method to determine if a person's condition will severely worsen from early onset of the disease. The find changes this, and has potential to help doctors better decide who needs to be warded for dengue and who does not.

Aedes mosquitos can cause dengue haemorrhagic fever. Being potentially lethal, it is one of the worst states of the disease. However, researchers from Singapore and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology think they have found a scientific method to foretell if a dengue patient's condition will worsen to that state.  The key lies in a discovered set of biomarkers, or molecular indicators from blood samples, that reveal a path to severe complications.

Blood samples from a dengue patient are put into a machine, which breaks the samples down into smaller components. The components are then fed to a mass spectrometer, which will analyse the compounds in the blood. Dr Lee Yie Hou, a research scientist at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), said: "We measure numerous compounds, such as small and large proteins, small molecules involved in metabolism. We plough these measurable indicators through a sophisticated software and which would then help us distinguish whether a patient could develop or is likely to develop the more severe form of dengue