Dengue virus infection among long-term travelers from the Netherlands: A prospective study, 2008-2011.PLoS One. 2018; 13(2):e0192193.Plos
Dengue is increasing rapidly in endemic regions. Data on incidence among travelers to these areas are limited. Five prospective studies have been performed thus far, mainly among short-term travelers.
To obtain the attack and incidence rate (AR, IR) of dengue virus (DENV) infection among long-term travelers and identify associated risk factors.
A prospective study was performed among long-term travelers (12-52 weeks) attending the Public Health Service in Amsterdam. Clients planning to travel to (sub)tropical countries were invited to participate. Participants kept a travel diary, recording itinerary, symptoms, and physician visits. Pre- and post-travel blood samples were serologically tested for the presence of Anti-DENV IgG antibodies. Seroconversion was considered suggestive of a primary DENV infection. Anti-DENV IgG present in both corresponding samples in combination with a post-/pre-travel ratio of ≥4:1 was suggestive of a secondary infection. Risk factors for a DENV infection were studied using poisson regression.
In total, 600 participants were included; median age was 25 years (IQR: 23-29), 35.5% were male, and median travel duration was 20 weeks (IQR: 15-25). In 39 of 600 participants (AR: 6.5%; 95% CI 4.5-8.5%) anti-DENV IgG test results were suggestive of a recent infection, yielding an IR of 13.9 per 1,000 person-months traveling (95%CI: 9.9-19.1). No secondary infections were found. IR for Asia, Africa, and America were comparable and 13.5, 15.8, and 13.6 per 1,000 person-months respectively. Of participants with a recent DENV infection, 51% did not report dengue-like illness (DLI) or fever, but 10% were hospitalized. In multivariable analysis, travelers who seroconverted were significantly more likely to be vaccinated with ≥2 flavivirus vaccines for the current trip or to have reported DLI in >1 consecutive weeks.
Long-term travelers are at substantial risk of DENV infection. Half of those with a DENV infection reported no symptoms, but 10% were hospitalized, demonstrating the importance of advising anti-mosquito measures during travel.