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The epidemiological characteristics of dengue in high-risk areas of China, 2013-2016
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2021 (English)In: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, ISSN 1935-2727, E-ISSN 1935-2735, Vol. 15, no 12, article id e0009970Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Dengue has become a more serious human health concern in China, with increased incidence and expanded outbreak regions. The knowledge of the cross-sectional and longitudinal epidemiological characteristics and the evolutionary dynamics of dengue in high-risk areas of China is limited.

Methods: Records of dengue cases from 2013 to 2016 were obtained from the China Notifiable Disease Surveillance System. Full envelope gene sequences of dengue viruses detected from the high-risk areas of China were collected. Maximum Likelihood tree and haplotype network analyses were conducted to explore the phylogenetic relationship of viruses from high-risk areas of China.

Results: A total of 56,520 cases was reported in China from 2013 to 2016. During this time, Yunnan, Guangdong and Fujian provinces were the high-risk areas. Imported cases occurred almost year-round, and were mainly introduced from Southeast Asia. The first indigenous case usually occurred in June to August, and the last one occurred before December in Yunnan and Fujian provinces but in December in Guangdong Province. Seven genotypes of DENV 1-3 were detected in the high-risk areas, with DENV 1-I the main genotype and DENV 2-Cosmopolitan the secondary one. The Maximum Likelihood trees show that almost all the indigenous viruses separated into different clusters. DENV 1-I viruses were found to be clustered in Guangdong Province, but not in Fujian and Yunnan, from 2013 to 2015. The ancestors of the Guangdong viruses in the cluster in 2013 and 2014 were most closely related to strains from Thailand or Singapore, and the Guangdong virus in 2015 was most closely related to the Guangdong virus of 2014. Based on closest phylogenetic relationships, viruses from Myanmar possibly initiated further indigenous cases in Yunnan, those from Indonesia in Fujian, while viruses from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia were predominant in Guangdong Province.

Conclusions: Dengue is still an imported disease in China, although some genotypes continued to circulate in successive years. Viral phylogenies based on the envelope gene suggested periodic introductions of dengue strains into China, primarily from Southeast Asia, with occasional sustained, multi-year transmission in some regions of China.

Author summary: Dengue is the most prevalent and rapidly spreading mosquito-borne viral disease globally. Because of the multiple introductions, dengue outbreaks occurred in epidemic seasons in Southern China, supported by suitable weather conditions. Surveillance data from 2013 to 2016 in China showed that Guangdong, Yunnan and Fujian provinces were the high-risk areas, with dengue outbreaks occurring almost every year. However, knowledge has been lacking of the epidemiological characteristics and the evolution pattern of dengue virus in these high-risk areas. This study shows a variety of epidemiological characteristics and sources of imported cases among the high-risk areas in China, with likely origins primarily from countries in Southeast Asia. Seven genotypes of the DENV 1-3 variety co-circulated with DENV1-I, the main genotype, and DENV 2-Cosmopolitan, the secondary. Genetic relationships among viral strains suggest that the indigenous viruses in the high-risk areas arose from imported viruses and sometimes persisted between years into the next epidemic season, especially in Guangdong Province. Population movement has played a vital role in dengue epidemics in China. This information may be useful in dengue control, especially during epidemic seasons and in the development of an early warning system within the region, in collaboration with bordering countries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Public Library of Science , 2021. Vol. 15, no 12, article id e0009970
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-191608DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0009970ISI: 000732293300003PubMedID: 34928951Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85122846420OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-191608DiVA, id: diva2:1630306
Available from: 2022-01-20 Created: 2022-01-20 Last updated: 2022-01-24Bibliographically approved

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Liu-Helmersson, Jing

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