Investigation of the First Case of Dengue Virus Infection Acquired in Western Australia in Seven Decades: Evidence of Importation of Infected Mosquitoes?

M.D.A. Lindsay, A. Jardine, C. Giele, P. Armstrong, Suzi Mccarthy, A. Whittle, N. Pal, H. Lyttle, S. Harrington, Jay Nicholson, David Smith

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    Abstract

    © 2015 Lindsay et al. In October 2013, a locally-acquired case of dengue virus (DENV) infection was reported in Western Australia (WA) where local dengue transmission has not occurred for over 70 years. Laboratory testing confirmed recent DENV infection and the case demonstrated a clinically compatible illness. The infection was most likely acquired in the Pilbara region in the northwest of WA. Follow up investigations did not detect any other locally-acquired dengue cases or any known dengue vector species in the local region, despite intensive adult and larval mosquito surveillance, both immediately after the case was notified in October 2013 and after the start of the wet season in January 2014. The mechanism of infection with DENV in this case cannot be confirmed. However, it most likely followed a bite from a single infected mosquito vector that was transiently introduced into the Pilbara region but failed to establish a local breeding population. This case highlights the public health importance of maintaining surveillance efforts to ensure that any incursions of dengue vectors into WA are promptly identified and do not become established, particularly given the large numbers of viraemic dengue fever cases imported into WA by travellers returning from dengue-endemic regions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-8
    JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
    Volume9
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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