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Trop Med Int Health. 2019 Oct 9. doi: 10.1111/tmi.13311. [Epub ahead of print]

Dengue in Santander State, Colombia: Fluctuations in the prevalence of virus serotypes are linked to dengue incidence and genetic diversity of the circulating viruses.

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Laboratorio de Arbovirus, Centro de Investigaciones en Enfermedades Tropicales, Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia.
Centro de Investigaciones Epidemiológicas, Escuela de Medicina, Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia.
Universidad de Santander, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Escuela de Medicina, Laboratorio de Neurociencias, Bucaramanga, Colombia.



To investigate the link between fluctuations in the prevalence of dengue virus (DENV) serotypes and the number of dengue cases in the metropolitan area of Bucaramanga, Santander State, Colombia, in the 2007-2010 and 2014-2017 periods.


Viruses were isolated from febrile patient samples by direct application to C6/36-HT cells and typed using monoclonal antibodies. We performed autocorrelation and cross-correlation analyses to determine whether fluctuations in the prevalence of DENV serotypes and dengue cases were correlated. Full envelope (E) gene sequences were employed to examine the genetic diversity of serotypes circulating by using a phylogenetic approach.


All four dengue virus serotypes were detected. DENV-1 was the dominant serotype in both periods followed by DENV-3 or DENV-2 depending on the period; DENV-4 was the least prevalent virus in both periods. Cross-correlation analyses suggest a temporal relation between the fluctuations in the prevalence of DENV serotypes, which were almost simultaneous (lag = 0) or related to recent past fluctuations (lag > 1.0) in the number of dengue cases. Data suggest that a sustained predominance of DENV-1, an increase of the DENV-4 prevalence, and a switch from DENV-3 to DENV-2 could be linked to an outbreak. Circulating viruses were grouped into Genotype V, Asia/American III and II for DENV-1, -2, -3 and -4, respectively; intragenotypic diversity was detected.


The present work highlights the need of comprehensive studies on dynamics of DENV in Colombia to understand transmission of dengue and evaluate the effectiveness of a vaccination program.


Colombia; dengue virus; genotype,dengue; serotype; virus surveillance


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