8 in 10 Indonesian children has been infected with dengue

June 16, 2017, Public Library of Science
Female Aedes aegypti mosquito while she was in the process of acquiring a blood meal from her human host, who in this instance, was actually the biomedical photographer, James Gathany, here at the Centers for Disease Control. Credit: James Gathany, Prof. Frank Hadley Collins, Dir., Cntr. for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, Univ. of Notre Dame

Indonesia has one of the highest burdens of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne virus, in the world, and children account for many cases. Well over half of all children in urban areas are infected with dengue by the age of 5, and more than 80 percent have been infected with the virus at least once by age 10, researchers now report in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Dengue is transmitted to people through the bites of infected Aedes mosquitoes. Symptoms can range from a fever, rash, and headache to severe bleeding in . Infection from one serotype does not provide immunity to the other three serotypes and individuals may be affected with dengue more than once. While fatality rates are less than 1 percent in most countries, overall dengue incidence is on the rise, leading to an increase in deaths from the virus worldwide. An understanding of who is infected with dengue is critical to public health planning for the disease.

This new study was designed to represent the entire Indonesian urban pediatric population. Led by Prof. Sri Rezeki Hadinegoro from the Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia, in partnership with Sanofi Pasteur, researchers collected blood samples from 3,194 children aged 1 through 18 years who lived in 30 different urban neighborhoods. Each blood sample was tested for antibodies to dengue, an indication that someone has been infected with the virus in the past. Questionnaires were also administered to determine information about each child's household demographics.

The researchers found that 69.4% of all children tested positive for dengue antibodies; 33.8% of 1-4 year olds; 65.4% of 5-9 year olds; 83.1% of 10-14 year olds; and 89.0% of 15-18 year olds. The median age to become infected with dengue for the first time was 4.8 years, and the researchers calculated that on average, 13.1% of children get their first each year. In addition, the more people in a household who had been diagnosed with dengue since a child's birth, the more likely children were to test positive for dengue antibodies.

"The observation that 13.1% of children suffer a primary per year translates into many millions of infections a year. Adults are presumably infected with a similar frequency," the researchers say. "While a modelling approach would be required to quantify this burden, these data are strongly suggestive that infections result in a significant burden of symptomatic and severe disease in urban Indonesia."

Explore further: Mosquitoes infected with virus-suppressing bacteria could help control dengue fever

More information: Ari Prayitno et al, Dengue seroprevalence and force of primary infection in a representative population of urban dwelling Indonesian children, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases (2017). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005621

Related Stories

Mosquitoes infected with virus-suppressing bacteria could help control dengue fever

May 30, 2017
Mosquitos infected with the bacteria Wolbachia are significantly worse vectors for dengue virus, but how to establish and spread Wolbachia in an urban mosquito population is unclear. A study publishing on 30th May 2017 in ...

Dengue fever: what you need to know

February 16, 2016
An outbreak of dengue fever in Hawaii has prompted officials to declare a state of emergency on Hawaii Island.

Study shows prior viral infections can make Zika infection worse

March 31, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City has found that mice who have survived a dengue or West Nile viral infection fare worse when subsequently infected ...

Dengue vaccine estimated to reduce disease burden in dengue-affected areas

November 29, 2016
The first available dengue vaccine, CYD-TDV (Dengvaxia), is estimated to reduce the burden of dengue and be potentially cost effective in settings where infections with dengue are common, according to a study published by ...

First dengue vaccine goes on sale in Guatemala

November 22, 2016
The world's first vaccine against dengue, a mosquito-borne virus that causes fever and pain and can be fatal, will go on sale in Guatemala within weeks, the French company making it said Tuesday.

Researchers say Zika case found in Indonesia

January 31, 2016
An Indonesian research institute said Sunday it had found one positive Zika case on Sumatra island, adding that the virus has been circulating in the country "for a while".

Recommended for you

Kids with rare rapid-aging disease get hope from study drug

April 24, 2018
Children with a rare, incurable disease that causes rapid aging and early death may live longer if treated with an experimental drug first developed for cancer patients, a study suggests.

Commonly prescribed heartburn drug linked to pneumonia in older adults

April 24, 2018
Researchers at the University of Exeter have found a statistical link between pneumonia in older people and a group of medicines commonly used to neutralise stomach acid in people with heartburn or stomach ulcers. Although ...

Early treatment for leg ulcers gets patients back on their feet

April 24, 2018
Treating leg ulcers within two weeks by closing faulty veins improves healing by 12 per cent compared to standard treatment, according to new findings.

Research finds new mechanism that can cause the spread of deadly infection

April 20, 2018
Scientists at the University of Birmingham have discovered a unique mechanism that drives the spread of a deadly infection.

Selection of a pyrethroid metabolic enzyme CYP9K1 by malaria control activities

April 20, 2018
Researchers from LSTM, with partners from a number of international institutions, have shown the rapid selection of a novel P450 enzyme leading to insecticide resistance in a major malaria vector.

Low-cost anti-hookworm drug boosts female farmers' physical fitness

April 19, 2018
Impoverished female farm workers infected with intestinal parasites known as hookworms saw significant improvements in physical fitness when they were treated with a low-cost deworming drug. The benefits were seen even in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.