Molecular detection of dengue virus in patients suspected of Ebola virus disease in Ghana

PLoS One. 2018 Dec 19;13(12):e0208907. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0208907. eCollection 2018.


Dengue fever is known to be one of the most common arthropod-borne viral infectious diseases of public health importance. The disease is now endemic in more than 100 countries in Africa, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific with an estimated two fifths of the world's population being at risk. The notable endemic viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) found in West Africa, including yellow fever, Lassa fever, Rift Valley fever, dengue fever and until recently Ebola have been responsible for most outbreaks with fatal consequences. These VHFs usually produce unclear acute febrile illness, especially in the acute phase of infection. In this study we detected the presence of 2 different serotypes (DENV-2 and DENV-3) of Dengue virus in 4 sera of 150 patients clinically suspected of Ebola virus disease during the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa with the use of serological and molecular test assays. Sequence data was successfully generated for DENV-3 and phylogenetic analysis of the envelope gene showed that the DENV-3 sequences had close homology with DENV-3 sequences from Senegal and India. This study documents molecular evidence of an indigenous Dengue fever viral infection in Ghana and therefore necessitates the need to have an efficient surveillance system to rapidly detect and control the dissemination of the different serotypes in the population which has the potential to cause outbreaks of dengue hemorrhagic fevers.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dengue Virus / genetics*
  • Dengue* / epidemiology
  • Dengue* / genetics
  • Dengue* / virology
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Ebolavirus / genetics*
  • Female
  • Ghana / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola* / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola* / genetics
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola* / virology
  • Humans
  • Male

Grant support

This research work was supported by funds from the Japan Initiative for Global Research Network on Infectious Diseases (J-GRID) of the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) to NO and by the Government of Ghana through the financial support from the University of Ghana Research Fund to JH and KB. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.