Changing Pattern of Dengue Virus Serotypes Circulating During 2008–2012 and Reappearance of Dengue Serotype 3 May Cause Outbreak in Kolkata, India

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Dengue virus infection is a major cause of morbidity within the endemic tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Dengue virus has four distinct serotypes with specific clinical manifestations. In this study, we observed the changing pattern of dengue serotypes, age-wise dengue infection and useful sero-detection methods needed in a dengue endemic region. We identified dengue serotypes during a period of 5 years among patients with dengue symptoms visiting one of the largest tertiary care infectious disease hospitals of eastern India in Kolkata. A total of 433 dengue RNA positive samples were isolated from 712 acute dengue suspected cases. Age wise distribution highlighted the susceptible age group being >21 years (24.02%) followed by 11–15 years (21.71%) and 5–10 years (21.02%) of the total infected population. Higher numbers of infected cases were found within females as they are involved in more indoor works. The period of study experienced two dengue outbreaks one in 2008 and another in 2012. For early dengue detection, NS1 was found to be more confirmatory than IgM ELISA regarding sensitivity and specificity. DENV-1, 2, and 4 serotypes were the common circulating strains from 2008 until 2010, after which DENV-3 serotype infections rise and led to a massive dengue outbreak in Kolkata with increased numbers of DHF and DSS cases in 2012. The finding within our study emphasizes the public health importance of such prospective surveillance programs with respect to the changing dengue viral etiology and serotypes.

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