Bahia lacks supplies for dengue, zika and chikungunya testing; commission accuses the war in Ukraine | Bahia

Bahia State’s Central Public Health Laboratory (Lacen/BA) lacks supplies to perform dengue and chikungunya serology, in addition to the lack of reagents for RT-PCR tests that simultaneously detect zika, dengue fever and chikungunya (ZDC).

According to the Bahia Department of Health (Sesab), the Laboratory Resource Management Committee (CGLab) attributed this shortfall to the war in Ukraine, in addition to the confinement in Asia due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The raw material for the inputs is produced in Asia.

The supply of certain types of inputs necessary for carrying out the tests is not foreseen. This shortage was revealed six days after the city of Itabuna, in the south of the state, confirmed the dengue epidemic in the commune. According to the secretariat, 17 other towns in Bahia, whose names have not been disclosed, are at risk of an epidemic.

Search for arboviruses caused by the Aedes aegypti mosquito can be done by means of serological examinations or a PCR test.

Sesab says that despite the shortage, the state still had a few testing kits in stock as of Monday (16), such as serological IgM antibodies against dengue virus, with six kits (96 each, totaling 576 tests ).

Also according to Sesab, the state has accounted for six entry kits sent by the Ministry of Health and there is no expectation of a new shipment of IgM antibodies against the chikungunya virus, but there is no is no details on the total number of tests. There is no entry restriction, only for zika virus IgM antibodies and dengue NS1 antigen.

This Monday, Bahia also had molecular tests, multiplex tests for the detection of dengue, zika and chikungunya (about 400 tests in the laboratory), in addition to internal protocols of single RT-PCR of dengue, zika and chikungunya. Among these, there are about 500 reactions for the detection of each virus, but there is no master mix enzyme in stock and the absence of this enzyme makes RT-PCR impractical.

Inventory of supplies to perform dengue and zika testing is low in BA

The shortage of the reagent needed for the chikungunya tests, occurred due to the failure of the reagent acquisition process by the Ministry of Health, as informed by Sesab.

In a memo, the Ministry of Health said a new shipment of dengue diagnostic kits is expected to be delivered by June. The filing also informed that Fiocruz’s molecular tests are delivered directly to Central Laboratories (Lacens).

Regarding RT-PCR reagents for the simultaneous detection of zika, dengue and chikungunya, the insufficient quantities were caused by technical problems at Biomanguinhos, which produces the input.

According to Lacen-BA Director Arabela Leal, the lack of testing is impacting primary healthcare in the state.

“Patients need to be diagnosed as soon as possible. Through testing, we know which virus is circulating in the area,” he explains.

Rapid test for dengue, zika and chikungunya. — Photo: Publicity/City Hall of Campos

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