Clinical features and laboratory findings of travelers returning to South Australia with Dengue Virus infection.

Emma Quinn, Allena Cheong, Julie Calvert, Geoffrey Higgins, Trish Hahesy, David Gordon, Jillian Carr

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    Reported cases of dengue are rising in South Australia (SA) in travellers returning from dengue-endemic regions. We have undertaken a retrospective analysis to identify the clinical and laboratory characteristics of patients returning to SA with suspected dengue virus (DENV) infection. From 488 requests, 49 (10%) were defined by serology as acute dengue, with the majority of patients (75%) testing as non-structural protein 1 (NS1) and/or IgM positive. Dengue was most commonly acquired in Indonesia (42.9%) with clinical features of fever (95%), headache (41%) and myalgia/arthralgia (56%). The presence of rash (36%) and laboratory findings of neutropenia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, but not elevated C-reactive protein, were distinct from findings in DENV-seronegative patients. Available dengue seropositive samples were analysed by RT-PCR, with 14/32 (43.8%) positive by a serotype non-specific DENV assay, but 28/32 positive (87.5%) when also assessed by serotype-specific RT-PCR. Serotype analysis revealed the predominance of DENV-1 and DENV-2 and the presence of DENV-3, but not DENV-4 or Zika virus (ZIKV). Thus, dengue in returned travellers in SA presents in a manner consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) definitions, with symptoms, travel history and laboratory results useful in prioritising the likelihood of dengue. This definition will assist the future management in DENV-non-endemic regions, such as SA.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number6
    Number of pages14
    JournalTropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2018


    • Dengue RT-PCR
    • Dengue serology
    • Dengue virus
    • Returned traveller


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