In a study comparing the virus load and immune reaction between patients with primary and secondary dengue-2 (DEN-2) infections in a hospital-based analysis, we found that 40.7% (55/135) of the 135 patients had secondary DEN-2 infection following a DEN-2 outbreak in southern Taiwan. Most of the secondary infections had subclinical primary dengue infections (78.2%; 43/55). Patients with secondary DEN-2 infections had lower platelet counts, and blood interferon-alpha and virus load, but significantly higher interleukin-10 (P=0.030) and anti-DEN-1 neutralization titers (P=0.013) than those with primary infection. Patients with secondary DEN-2 infection also had a higher rate of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) (61.7% vs. 36.3%). A previous subclinical dengue infection is involved in the secondary DEN-2 infection associated with altered immune reaction and higher DHF rate, but lower blood virus load.
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