Volume 94, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Dengue, a mosquito-borne viral illness caused by dengue virus types (DENV)-1 to DENV-4, is endemic in Puerto Rico. Severe dengue usually occurs in individuals previously infected with DENV or among infants born to previously infected mothers. To describe clinical features of dengue in infants, we retrospectively characterized dengue patients aged < 18 months reported to the Passive Dengue Surveillance System (PDSS) during 1999–2011. To determine frequency of signs, symptoms, and disease severity, case report forms and medical records were evaluated for patients who tested positive for dengue by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction or anti-DENV immunoglobulin Menzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Of 4,178 reported patients aged < 18 months, 813 (19%) were laboratory positive. Of these, most had fever (92%), rash (53%), bleeding manifestations (52%), and thrombocytopenia (52%). Medical records were available for 145 (31%) of 472 hospitalized patients, of which 40% had dengue, 23% had dengue with warning signs, and 33% had severe dengue. Mean age of patients with severe dengue was 8 months. Anti-DENV immunoglobulin G (IgG) titers were not statistically different in patients with (50%) and without (59%) severe dengue. In this study, one-third of DENV-infected infants met the severe dengue case definition. The role of maternal anti-DENV IgG in development of severe disease warrants further study in prospective cohorts of mother-infant pairs.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 22 May 2015
  • Accepted : 03 Nov 2015

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