Volume 98, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The incidence of dengue worldwide is increasing rapidly. A better understanding of dengue transmission may help improve interventions against this major public health problem. The virus is mostly transmitted by vectors. There are, however, other modes of transmission, notably mother-to-child transmission or vertical transmission. We studied a prospective cohort of 54 women who had dengue while pregnant during the 2012–2013 epidemic in French Guiana to estimate the mother-to-child transmission rate and assess the clinical and biological presentation of neonatal dengue. The rate of vertical transmission was between 18.5% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 9.25–31.4) and 22.7% (95% CI: 11.5–37.8), depending on the calculation method used. Mother-to-child transmission occurred both in early and late pregnancy. There were 52 births, including three newborns who presented neonatal dengue with warning signs requiring platelet transfusion. This quantification of the mother-to-child transmission of dengue highlights three points: first, vertical transmission of dengue is not negligible; second, it is more frequent when maternal dengue occurs late during pregnancy near delivery; and third, reliable diagnostic tests must be used to allow the diagnosis of vertical transmission. Our findings indicate that if there is a known history of maternal dengue during pregnancy, or if there is fever during the 15 days before term, cord blood and placenta should be sampled after delivery and tested for the virus, and the newborn should be closely monitored during the postpartum period.


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  • Received : 10 Oct 2016
  • Accepted : 11 Aug 2017

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