What are the differences between serotype 1 dengue (DENV-1) and serotype 2 dengue (DENV-2)?

Updated: May 03, 2019
  • Author: Darvin Scott Smith, MD, MSc, DTM&H; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Serotype 1 dengue (DENV-1) was first reported in French Polynesia and Japan in 1943, followed by Hawaii. [10] DENV-1 was introduced into a largely susceptible population in Cuba in 1977. Serosurveys indicated that more than 44% of the population was infected, with only mild disease reported. The first dengue hemorrhagic fever epidemic in the Americas occurred in Cuba in 1981 and involved serotype 2 dengue (DENV-2), with hundreds of thousands of cases of dengue in both children and adults, 24,000 cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever, 10,000 cases of dengue shock syndrome, and 158 reported deaths.

In 1997, Asian genotype DENV-2 was reintroduced, and dengue shock syndrome and dengue hemorrhagic fever were seen only in adults who had previously been infected with DENV-1 in 1977. Disease and case-fatality rates were higher in those who had been infected with DENV-2 20 years after their initial DENV-1 infection than those who were infected 4 years apart.

Data from other countries supports the finding that the severity of secondary dengue infections appears to intensify with longer intervals between infections. [11, 12] Since then, dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever cases have progressively increased.

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