Dengue virus co-infections with multiple serotypes do not result in a different clinical outcome compared to mono-infections

U. T.N. Senaratne, U. T.N. Senaratne, K. Murugananthan, P. D.N.N. Sirisena, J. M. Carr, F. Noordeen

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Circulation of multiple dengue virus (DENV) serotypes in a locale has resulted in individuals becoming infected with mixed serotypes. This research was undertaken to study the clinical presentation, presence of DENV serotypes and serological characteristics of DENV infected patients with co-infections from three Provinces of Sri Lanka where DENV-1 and -2 predominated during the study. A reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was performed on 1249 patient samples and 301 were positive for DENV (24.1%). DENV-1 was the predominant serotype detected in 137 (45.51%) followed by DENV-2 in 65 (21.59%), DENV-3 in 59 (19.6%) and DENV-4 in 4 (1.32%) patients with mono-infections. Thirty-three patients (10.96%) had DENV co-infections with two or more serotypes. The highest number of co-infections was noted between DENV-1 and DENV-2 (57.57%) suggesting co-infection is driven by the frequency of the circulating serotypes. Platelet counts were significantly higher in DENV co-infected patients although clinical disease severity or white blood cell count, packed cell volume or viraemia were not significantly different in the co-infected compared to the mono-infected patients. Thus co-infection with multiple DENV serotypes does occur but with the exception of improved platelet counts in co-infected patients, there is no evidence that clinical or laboratory measures of disease are altered.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere119
Number of pages9
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Early online date29 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence(,which permits unrestricted re-use,distribution, and reproduction in any medium,provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Dengue
  • DENV co-infections
  • RT-PCR
  • Sri Lanka


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