Dengue virus exposures among deployed U.S. Military personnel

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Dengue virus infections have adversely impacted U.S. military operations since the Spanish-American War. The erosion of mission capabilities and lost duty days are underestimated. Appreciating the incidence and prevalence of dengue infections in U.S. military personnel is important to inform disease prevention strategies. Banked pre- and post-deployment serum samples from 1,000 U.S. military personnel with a single deployment to a dengueendemic region were tested using a screening microneutralization assay to detect anti-dengue-virus-neutralizing antibodies. A total of 76 (7.6%) post-deployment samples were positive and 15 of the pre-deployment samples were negative. These figures represent an infection incidence of 1.5% and total of 17.6 seroconversions per 10,000 deployment months. These data represent a deploying military population with a relatively high background rate of dengue seropositivity, a low level of infection during deployment compared with background infection rates in the local populations, and the potential for worsening clinical attack rates with increased frequency of deployment. Additional studies are required to more clearly elucidate the dengue infection and disease risk in U.S. military personnel.




Hesse, E. M., Martinez, L. J., Jarman, R. G., Lyons, A. G., Eckels, K. H., De La Barrera, R. A., & Thomas, S. J. (2017). Dengue virus exposures among deployed U.S. Military personnel. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 96(5), 1222–1226.

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