Scientific article
Open access

Asymptomatic dengue infection rate : a systematic literature review

Published inHeliyon, vol. 9, no. 9, e20069
Publication date2023-09

Objectives: Dengue infection is spreading worldwide. The clinical spectrum is broad and includes asymptomatic infections. This review provides an overview of the different proportions of asymptomatic infections described in epidemiological studies according to definitions, study designs, and detection methods.

Methods: Medline and Embase databases were searched without restriction of date or language. Studies were included if they reported data on the incidence or prevalence of asymptomatic dengue infections. The data were summarized and classified according to the definitions of the term 'asymptomatic'.

Results: A total of 74 studies were included. The mean proportion of asymptomatic infections among dengue-infected persons was 54% in 50 included studies. The prevalence of dengue infections detected in healthy persons was 0.2% in 24 included studies. The term 'asymptomatic' has been used to refer to 'clinically undetectable infection', but also to 'undiagnosed infection' or 'mild infection'. Only 8% were clinically undetectable laboratory-confirmed dengue infections.

Conclusion: The proportion of asymptomatic dengue infections varied greatly. Studies proving data on clinically undetectable laboratory-confirmed dengue infections were very few, but provided consistent results of low proportions of asymptomatic infections. These data challenge the assumption that the majority of dengue cases are asymptomatic.

  • Asymptomatic infection
  • Dengue
  • Subclinical infection
Citation (ISO format)
DE SANTIS, Olga, BOUSCAREN, Nicolas, FLAHAULT, Antoine. Asymptomatic dengue infection rate : a systematic literature review. In: Heliyon, 2023, vol. 9, n° 9, p. e20069. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e20069
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ISSN of the journal2405-8440

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