Article

Dengue Virus Infection in Africa

Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative, International Vaccine Institute, Seoul National University Research Park, Kwanak-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
Emerging Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 7.33). 08/2011; 17(8):1349-54. DOI: 10.3201/eid1708.101515
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Reported incidence of dengue has increased worldwide in recent decades, but little is known about its incidence in Africa. During 1960-2010, a total of 22 countries in Africa reported sporadic cases or outbreaks of dengue; 12 other countries in Africa reported dengue only in travelers. The presence of disease and high prevalence of antibody to dengue virus in limited serologic surveys suggest endemic dengue virus infection in all or many parts of Africa. Dengue is likely underrecognized and underreported in Africa because of low awareness by health care providers, other prevalent febrile illnesses, and lack of diagnostic testing and systematic surveillance. Other hypotheses to explain low reported numbers of cases include cross-protection from other endemic flavivirus infections, genetic host factors protecting against infection or disease, and low vector competence and transmission efficiency. Population-based studies of febrile illness are needed to determine the epidemiology and true incidence of dengue in Africa.

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