Sero-prevalence of dengue type-3 Virus among patients with febrile illnesses attending a tertiary hospital in Maiduguri, Nigeria


Idris A. N.1*, Baba M. M.2, Thairu Y.1, Bamidele O.2

Biomedical researches available to date indicate that Dengue viruses (DENV) could be among the etiologies of acute fevers in Nigeria. Dengue viruses are mosquito-borne and exist in four serotypes (DENV1 to DENV4) which immunologically do not cross protect but cross react. Dengue fever is clinically difficult to diagnose especially in the developing countries with no established diagnostic facility and could easily be mistaken for malaria and/or typhoid etc. The objective of this study is to determine whether Dengue Type-3 virus is circulating in this community; to determine its significance in febrile illnesses and also to encourage periodic surveillance work on the viral infection. The method adopted was: 256 serum samples from suspected cases of malaria and/or typhoid were collected from patients seeking for medical assistance at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. Cell culture-based Microneutrilization assay was used to test all the sera for DENV-3 neutralizing antibodies. Out of 256 samples 26 (10.1%) had neutralizing antibodies to DENV-3 virus. Among the seropositive patients, prevalence of DENV-3 antibodies was significantly higher in female patients (18.5%) compared to males (6.3%). The highest antibody titre recorded in this study was 1:320 while the lowest was 1:10. Majority of the seropositive patients were ≥ 20 years (14.5%). Co-circulation of dengue virus with malaria and/typhoid in North-eastern Nigeria has been suspected. The findings of this study suggest the need to conduct further research on dengue virus in order to confirm its involvement or exclude it from being responsible for febrile illnesses.


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