Molecular and clinical epidemiological surveillance of dengue virus in Paraíba, Northeast Brazil

<div><p>ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: Despite being the most prevalent arboviral disease worldwide, dengue has been neglected lately. However, recent epidemics of arboviruses such as Zika and chikungunya in locations throughout the world have alerted health authorities to these diseases. This study evaluated the incidence pattern of dengue, its clinical characteristics, and co-circulation of serotypes from 2007 to 2015 in Paraiba State, Northeast Brazil. METHODS: Data on dengue cases from 2007 to 2015 were extracted from clinical reports of the National System for Notifiable Diseases [Sistema Nacional de Agravos de Notificação (SINAN)] of Brazil provided by the Paraiba Health Department. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays for dengue serotypes were carried out on plasma samples obtained from patients with suspected dengue. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: According to clinical features, dengue fever [n = 39,083 (70.2%)] and dengue without warning signs [n = 15,365 (27.7%)] were the most common classifications of dengue. On RT-PCR, DENV 1 was the most commonly identified serotype (80.5%) in all years studied. Co-circulation of all four DENV serotypes was observed in 2013 and 2014. Furthermore, we observed an increase in dengue notifications in 2015, possibly due to the rise of Zika and chikungunya. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support the hypothesis that co-circulation of the four DENV serotypes may be a reason for the increased prevalence of severe forms of dengue in the years studied. This study may contribute to directing research, health policy, and financial resources toward reducing poorly controlled epidemic diseases.</p></div>