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Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2010;338:1-13. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-02215-9_1.

Prospective cohort studies of dengue viral transmission and severity of disease.

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Infectious Disease Division, Department of Medicine, State University of New York, Upstate Medical University, 725 Irving Avenue, Suite 304, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA.


As the four serotypes of dengue virus (DENV) systematically spread throughout the tropical and subtropical regions globally, dengue is increasingly contributing to the overall morbidity and mortality sustained by populations and thereby challenging the health infrastructures of most endemic countries. DENV-human host-mosquito vector interactions are complex and cause in humans either asymptomatic or subclinical DENV infection, mild to severe dengue fever (DF), severe dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), or dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Over the past decade, we have seen an increase in research funding and public health efforts to offset the effects of this pandemic. Though multiple vaccine development efforts are underway, the need remains to further characterize the determinants of varying severities of clinical outcomes. Several long-term prospective studies on DENV transmission and dengue severity have sought to define the epidemiology and pathogenesis of this disease. Yet, more studies are required to quantify the disease burden on different populations, explore the impact of DENV serotype-specific transmission on host-responses and dengue severity and measure the economic impact of dengue on a population. In this section, we will review the critical past and recent findings of dengue prospective studies on our understanding of the disease and the potential role of future prospective cohort studies in advancing issues required for vaccine field evaluations.

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