Angola’s 2013 dengue outbreak: clinical, laboratory and molecular analyses of cases from four Portuguese institutions
Introduction: Dengue virus (DENV) is the arbovirus with the widest impact on human health. In Africa in general, and in Angola in particular, the epidemiology and public health impact of DENV is far from clear. However, rapid population growth, unplanned urbanization, increased international travel, and the presence of virus major vector (Aedes aegypti) in the country suggest that DENV transmission may occur.
Methodology: In parallel to the occurrence of a dengue outbreak affecting the capital of Angola, between March and July 2013 four Portuguese institutions diagnosed dengue infection in 146 individuals returning to Portugal. Clinical presentation, laboratory findings, and molecular analyses of partial viral genomic segments were performed.
Results: The mean age of the individuals included in this study was 42 years old, the majority being men of Portuguese nationality, reporting various lengths of stay in Angola. Fever was the most reported clinical sign, being frequently associated (61.0%) with myalgia and headache. Hematological values, including hematocrit, white-blood cell and platelets counts, correlated with the absence of severe or complicated cases, or coagulation disorders. No deaths were observed. Viral NS1 was detected in 56.2% of the samples, and all NS1 negative cases had anti-dengue IgM antibodies. RT-PCR indicated the presence of DENV1, which was confirmed by phylogenetic analysis of 25 partial NS5 viral sequences.
Conclusion: The DENV cases analyzed conformed to classical and uncomplicated dengue, caused by the suggested exclusive circulation of a genetically homogeneous DENV1 of genotype III, apparently with a single origin.
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