Archived dengue serum samples produced false-positive results in SARS-CoV-2 lateral flow-based rapid antibody tests

J Med Microbiol. 2021 Jun;70(6). doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.001369.


Co-endemicity of SARS-CoV-2 and dengue virus (DV) infection is becoming a matter of serious concern as it has been already reported that antibodies (Ab) elicited by SARS-CoV-2 infection can produce false-positive results in dengue IgG and IgM rapid tests and vice versa. Here we communicate that five of thirteen DV antibody-positive serum samples from Kolkata, archived in 2017 (predating the COVID-19 outbreak), produced false-positive results in SARS-CoV-2 IgG/IgM lateral flow-based rapid tests. Our results emphasize the importance of implementing tests with higher specificity to conduct sero-surveillance for accurate estimation of SARS-CoV-2/DV prevalence in regions where both viruses now co-exist.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; antibody test; cross-reactive; dengue virus; false-positive; strip test.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis*
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 Serological Testing / methods*
  • Cross Reactions*
  • Dengue / diagnosis*
  • Dengue / epidemiology
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M