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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 142  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 1-6

Re-emergence of dengue virus serotype 2 strains in the 2013 outbreak in Nepal

1 Central Department of Biotechnology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, India
2 Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram, India
3 Bhawani Hospital, Birgunj, Parsa, India

Correspondence Address:
Easwaran Sreekumar
Molecular Virology Laboratory, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB), Thycaud P.O., Thiruvananthapuram 695 014, Kerala
Krishna Das Manandhar
Central Department of Biotechnology, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.176564

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Background & objectives: Epidemiological interventions and mosquito control are the available measures for dengue control. The former approach uses serotype and genetic information on the circulating virus strains. Dengue has been frequently reported from Nepal, but this information is mostly lacking. The present study was done to generate a comprehensive clinical and virological picture of a dengue outbreak in Nepal during 2013. Methods: A hospital-based study involving patients from five districts of Nepal was carried out. Demographic information, clinical details and dengue serological status were obtained. Viral RNA was characterized at the molecular level by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), nucleotide sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. Results: From among the 2340 laboratory-confirmed dengue cases during the study period, 198 patients consented for the study. Clinically they had fever (100%), headache (59.1%), rashes (18.2%), retro-orbital pain (30.3%), vomiting (15.1%), joint pain (28.8%) and thrombocytopenia (74.3%). Fifteen (7.5%) of them had mucosal bleeding manifestations, and the rest were uncomplicated dengue fever. The patients were mostly adults with a mean age of 45.75 ± 38.61 yr. Of the 52 acute serum samples tested, 15 were positive in RT-PCR. The causative virus was identified as DENV serotype 2 belonging to the Cosmopolitan genotype. Interpretations & conclusions: We report here the involvement of DENV serotype 2 in an outbreak in Nepal in 2013. Earlier outbreaks in the region in 2010 were attributed to serotype 1 virus. As serotype shifts are frequently associated with secondary infections and severe disease, there is a need for enhancing surveillance especially in the monsoon and post-monsoon periods to prevent large-scale, severe dengue outbreaks in the region.

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