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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2015 Jul;93(1):40-45. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.14-0671. Epub 2015 May 26.

Dengue seroprevalence of healthy adults in Singapore: serosurvey among blood donors, 2009.


Routine national notifications of dengue cases typically do not reflect the true dengue situation due to large proportion of unreported cases. Serosurveys, when conducted periodically, could shed light on the true dengue infections in the population. To determine the magnitude of dengue infections of the adult population in Singapore following the outbreak in 2007, we performed a cross-sectional study on blood donor samples from December 2009 to February 2010. The residual blood of 3,995 donors (aged 16-60 years) was screened for the presence of dengue-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits. The age-weighted IgG prevalence of residents was 50.8% (N = 3,627, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 49.4-52.3%). Dengue IgG prevalence increased with age, with the lowest in 16-20 years age group (16.1%) and the highest in 56-60 years age group (86.6%). Plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) on samples of young resident adults (aged 16-30 years) revealed lower prevalence of neutralizing antibodies to each serotype, ranging from 5.4% to 20.3% compared with the older age groups. The level of exposure to dengue among the young adults is relatively low despite the endemicity of the disease in Singapore. It partially explains the population's susceptibility to explosive outbreaks and the high incidence rate among young adults.

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