Objectives: Quang Nam province in the Centre of Vietnam has faced an outbreak of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) in 2018. Although DHF is a recurrent disease in this area, no epidemiological and microbiological reports on dengue virus serotypes have been conducted mainly due to lack of facilities for such a kind of advanced surveillance. The aim of this study was to detect different dengue virus serotypes in patients’ blood samples. Design and Methods: Suspected cases living in Quang Nam province (Vietnam) and presenting clinical and hematological signs of dengue hemorrhagic fever were included in the study. The screening was performed, and the results were compared by using two methodologies: RT real-time PCR (RT-rPCR) and the Dengue NS1 rapid test. Results: From December 2018 to February 2019, looking both at RT-rPCR [+] and NS1 [+] methodologies, a total of 488 patients were screened and 336 were positive for dengue virus detection (74 children and 262 adults); 273 of these patients (81.3%) underwent viral serotype identification as follows: 12.82% (35/273) D1 serotype, 17.95% (49/273) D2, 0.37% (1/273) D3, 68.50 (187/283) D4, and 0.37% (1/273) D2+D4 serotypes. The RT-rPCR outcomes showed higher sensitivity during the first three days of infection compared to NS1 (92.3% vs. 89.7%). The NS1 increased sensitivity after the first 3 days whilst the RT-rPCR decreased. Conclusions: Advanced surveillance with dengue virus serotypes identification, if performed routinely, may help to predict and prevent further DHF epidemics based on the exposure of the different serotypes during different periods that lead to the intensification of disease severity as a consequence of antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE).
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