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World J Virol. Feb 12, 2017; 6(1): 9-16
Published online Feb 12, 2017. doi: 10.5501/wjv.v6.i1.9
Value of routine dengue diagnosis in endemic countries
James Ayukepi Ayukekbong, Olufunmilayo G Oyero, Samuel Ekpesu Nnukwu, Henry Nzike Mesumbe, Cajetang Nkong Fobisong
James Ayukepi Ayukekbong, Centre for Continuing and Online Learning, Algonquin College, Ottawa, ON K2G 1V8, Canada
Olufunmilayo G Oyero, Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan PB200005, Nigeria
Samuel Ekpesu Nnukwu, Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Allied Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar PB3651, Nigeria
Henry Nzike Mesumbe, Cajetang Nkong Fobisong, Section for Clinical Virology, Redeem Biomedical Buea, Buea SWR MILE 16, Cameroon
Author contributions: Ayukekbong JA performed the majority of the writing, prepared the figures and tables; Oyero OG performed data accusation and writing; Nnukwu SE and Mesumbe HN provided the relevant input in writing the paper; Fobisong CN designed the outline and coordinated the writing of the paper.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors whose names are listed below certify that they have NO affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speaker’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Dr. James Ayukepi Ayukekbong, Centre for Continuing and Online Learning, Algonquin College, 1385 Woodroffe Avenue, Ottawa, ON K2G 1V8, Canada.
Telephone: +1-819-6391160
Received: October 10, 2016
Peer-review started: October 11, 2016
First decision: November 14, 2016
Revised: November 24, 2016
Accepted: December 7, 2016
Article in press: December 9, 2016
Published online: February 12, 2017

Dengue is one of the most common arthropod-borne viral diseases in humans and it is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is thought to account for 400 million cases annually among approximately 3.97 billion people at risk of infection in 128 endemic countries. Despite the global prevalence of the disease, the availability of a vaccine is limited in most countries in the endemic areas. Most endemic countries in South America, South East Asia and Africa serve as attractive touristic sites for people from non-endemic countries who become infected and export the virus to dengue-free regions. Dengue fever typically resembles malaria and in endemic countries most cases of dengue are treated as presumptive malaria. Consequently, routine dengue diagnosis among persons with fever will offer early treatment and reduce the burden of the disease. Also, routine testing among travellers from endemic countries will reduce importation and prevent the geographical expansion of dengue. In this essay, we seek to highlight the usefulness of routine dengue testing in endemic countries.

Keywords: Dengue virus, Endemic, Mosquito, Vector-borne

Core tip: Dengue is an emerging arborvirus infection currently endemic in 128 countries in the world. In the absence of routine vaccination and specific antivirals, the main method to reduce the burden of dengue is to reduce the vector population, educate people on protective measures and timely laboratory identification. Unfortunately this routine laboratory investigation is currently neglected in most endemic countries and most cases of fevers are often misconstrued as malaria. This review provides a comprehensive summary of dengue infection and highlights the fact that routine dengue diagnosis will reduce the burden and global expansion of dengue.