Significant increase in travel-associated dengue fever in Germany
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Increasing numbers of dengue fever (DF) cases reflect the increasing travel mobility together with the expanding geographical distribution of the vector Aedes aegypti. Compared with earlier surveys in Germany, higher incidences occur and correlate well with ongoing outbreaks. Therefore, we investigated 767 serum samples from 594 returning travellers with suspected DF between 2005 and 2010, which where sent from different hospitals in the drainage area Frankfurt/Main. Established diagnostic assays were ELISA, immunofluorescence and chromatographic tests. We obtained 112 dengue-seropositive serum samples from totally 60 patients: the detection rate was 10.1% (60 out of 594). A significant increase was found in 2010. Most patients were aged between 40 and 49, and indirect immunofluorescence technique indicated mainly DF serotype 2. Actual data reveal a significant rise in imported DF cases in 2010 according to an increasing risk to acquire DF virus infection. Nevertheless, dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome are still rare in travellers, but those with a history of dengue should be tested for DF serotypes and advised to protect themselves well from mosquitoes when travelling to endemic areas.
KeywordsTravel medicine Increasing dengue fever Dengue fever diagnostics
I would like to thank H. W. Doerr for his great support and all MTAs at the serological laboratory for their excellent technical assistance.
Conflict of interest
The author declares no conflict of interest.
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