The incubation periods of Dengue viruses

PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e50972. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050972. Epub 2012 Nov 30.


Dengue viruses are major contributors to illness and death globally. Here we analyze the extrinsic and intrinsic incubation periods (EIP and IIP), in the mosquito and human, respectively. We identified 146 EIP observations from 8 studies and 204 IIP observations from 35 studies. These data were fitted with censored Bayesian time-to-event models. The best-fitting temperature-dependent EIP model estimated that 95% of EIPs are between 5 and 33 days at 25°C, and 2 and 15 days at 30°C, with means of 15 and 6.5 days, respectively. The mean IIP estimate was 5.9 days, with 95% expected between days 3 and 10. Differences between serotypes were not identified for either incubation period. These incubation period models should be useful in clinical diagnosis, outbreak investigation, prevention and control efforts, and mathematical modeling of dengue virus transmission.

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / virology
  • Animals
  • Databases as Topic
  • Dengue / transmission
  • Dengue / virology
  • Dengue Virus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Incubation Period*
  • Models, Biological

Grant support

The authors have no support or funding to report.