Long-term persistence of clinical symptoms in dengue-infected persons and its association with immunological disorders

Int J Infect Dis. 2011 Jan;15(1):e38-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2010.09.008. Epub 2010 Nov 26.


Objectives: The acute manifestations of dengue are well known. The clinical symptoms that present during the convalescent phase of infection are less well characterized, but may be autoimmune-based. This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of persistent clinical symptoms among individuals infected during the 2006 Cuban epidemic and to evaluate the immunological and genetic factors associated with their occurrence.

Methods: In 2008, clinical data and blood samples were collected from a random sample of adult individuals diagnosed during the 2006 epidemic with dengue fever (DF, n=68), dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF, n=29), or an asymptomatic infection (AI, n=42). The presence of persistent symptoms was evaluated in all individuals and a psychological assessment was performed. IgG titers and the Fc receptor (FcR) were also evaluated. The following autoimmune markers were assessed in a subset (n=26) of symptomatic individuals: complement factors C3/C4, rheumatoid factor (RF), C-reactive protein (CRP), antinuclear antibodies (ANA), and immune complex (IC).

Results: Over half (55/97) the individuals with a prior of diagnosis of DF or DHF had persistent clinical symptoms in the 2 years following infection. The sequelae were unrelated to the initial diagnosis and were more common among women (44/55). No symptoms were reported in the AI group and all study participants had normal mental and cognitive function. Persistent clinical symptoms were associated with HH polymorphic variant (p=0.027) and high IgG titer (p=0.041). Autoimmune marker alterations were common (20/26) in the subset of symptomatic individuals evaluated.

Conclusions: Clinical sequelae after recovery from an acute dengue virus infection are common in the 2 years following infection. The results obtained in this study suggest that persistent symptoms are associated with alterations in some immunological parameters and FcγRIIa gene polymorphism. This could suggest an autoimmune-based disturbance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / virology*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cuba
  • Dengue / complications*
  • Dengue / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Receptors, IgG / genetics
  • Receptors, IgG / immunology


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Biomarkers
  • Fc gamma receptor IIA
  • Receptors, IgG