A New Look at an Old Disease: Recent Insights into the Global Epidemiology of Dengue


Purpose of Review

By all measures, the morbidity and mortality due to dengue are continuing to worsen worldwide. Although both early and recent studies have demonstrated regional differences in how dengue affects local populations, these findings were to varying extents related to disparate surveillance approaches.

Recent Findings

Recent studies have broadened the recognized spectrum of disease resulting from DENV infection, particularly in adults, and have also demonstrated new mechanisms of DENV spread both within and between populations. New results regarding the frequency and duration of homo- and heterotypic anti-DENV antibodies have provided important insights relevant to vaccine design and implementation.


These observations and findings as well as difficulties in comparing the epidemiology of dengue within and between regions of the world underscore the need for population-based dengue surveillance worldwide. Enhanced surveillance should be implemented to complement passive surveillance in countries in the tropics to establish baseline data in order to define affected populations and evaluate the impact of dengue vaccines and novel vector control interventions.

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