The Dengue virus in Nepal: gaps in diagnosis and surveillance.
BACKGROUND: The introduction of the dengue virus (DENV) in Nepal is recent, first reports date back to 2004 from a Japanese traveller and limited information is available about DENV infection in the Nepali population. Within a decade after the first DENV detection, it is now endemic in multiple districts of Nepal with approximately 11.2 million people residing in the Terai belt being at risk of DENV infection. Sporadic cases of DENV infection have been reported every year for the past decade during the monsoon season, mainly in the Terai region. METHODS: Medline/Embase/Cochrane databases were reviewed for reports on the burden of dengue infection, diagnostic methods, and national surveillance. RESULTS: Four outbreaks were reported since 2004 including the diagnosis of all serotypes in 2006 and predominance of a single serotype in 2010 (DENV-1), 2013 (DENV-2), and 2016 (DENV-1). The clinical diagnoses showed a predominance of dengue fever while 4/917 (0.4%), 8/642 (1.2%) and 8/1615 (0.4%) dengue haemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome cases were identified during the outbreaks in 2010, 2013 and 2016, respectively. The number of cases reported in males was significantly higher (67.4%) than in females. Disease occurrence was primarily found in the Terai region until 2010 and was increasingly detected in the Hilly region in 2016. CONCLUSION: In Nepal currently weak diagnostic facilities, very limited research on mosquitoes vectors, and poor surveillance of dengue leading to inappropriate detection and control of DENV. We surmise that improved basic research and epidemiological training courses for local scientists and laboratory personal at national and international level will help better understand the evolution and distribution of DENV transmission and its eventual control.
Online Publication Date