Spatial and temporal clustering of dengue virus transmission in Thai villages

November 4, 2008

In a new study reported in PLoS Medicine, Mammen P. Mammen Jr. of the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS) in Bangkok and colleagues investigated the spread of dengue virus infection in rural Thai villages.

Identifying cases by screening schoolchildren with fever, the researchers then found that infection spread from the homes of infected children to nearby houses, resulting in localized clustering of cases. This focal pattern of transmission suggests that active case detection prompting local spraying to kill the mosquitoes that carry the virus could reduce spread within rural areas.

Every year, over 50 million people living in tropical and subtropical areas become infected with dengue and several hundred thousand develop a potentially lethal complication called dengue hemorrhagic fever. Dengue is caused by four closely related viruses that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Neither a safe, effective vaccine nor antiviral treatment is available for dengue infection.

In a related Perspective article, Steven Riley of the University of Hong Kong, who was not involved in the study, noted that "it is sometimes difficult to obtain funding for expensive ecological studies. Therefore, carefully designed prospective cluster studies provide a much more efficient way of gathering key data."

Citation: Mammen MP Jr, Pimgate C, Koenraadt CJM, Rothman AL, Aldstadt J, et al. (2008) Spatial and temporal clustering of dengue virus transmission in Thai villages. PLoS Med 5(10): e205. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050205

Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: New gene drive technology evokes hopes and fears

Related Stories

New gene drive technology evokes hopes and fears

October 2, 2015

The idea of introducing a novel gene into a few individuals that then spreads through an entire population sounds like a premise for science fiction. And yet fiction can be prophetic.

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

( -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.