An overview of dengue viral infection circulating in Pakistan
Liaqat Ali1, Zakkia Gul2, Asiya Ijaz3, Nouman Khalid4, Falak Zeb5, Samia Afzal6, Anayat Ullah7, Fazli Subhan1, Saeed Ahmed1
1 Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS), Rawalpindi, Pakistan
2 Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Hazara University, Mansehra, Pakistan
3 Department of Zoology, University of Poonch Rawalakot, Pakistan
4 Department of Life Sciences, Abasyn University Islamabad Campus, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
5 Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS), Rawalpindi, Pakistan
6 Division of Molecular Virology & Infectious Diseases, Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB), University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
7 Multidisciplinary Department, National University of Medical Sciences, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS), Rawalpindi
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background & objectives: Dengue virus (DENV) is an RNA virus that infects approximately 2.5 billion people around the world. The incidence of dengue fever has rapidly increased at an alarming rate in the last few years and has affected thousands of people in Pakistan. This review explores the prevalence, serotypes and pathogenesis of dengue virus circulating in Pakistan.
Methods: A systematic review of observational studies published between 1994 and December 2019 was performed. All records of the confirmed outbreak of dengue fever in Pakistan were reviewed and articles containing no primary data were excluded.
Results: Four identified serotypes of dengue virus (DENV 1-4) circulate in different regions of the world causing epidemics. The most prevalent serotype, which is still epidemic and dominant in Pakistan, is DENV-2. Many factors like over-population, rapid urbanization, travelling, lack of vector control in dengue endemic areas and inadequate health-care are responsible of dynamic and huge raise of dengue in Pakistan.
Interpretation & conclusion: Currently there is no specific treatment for prevention of dengue virus. Recently some antiviral compounds were being tested to eradicate this disease. There is a need to develop an efficient and safe vaccine for all four serotypes to combat dengue viral infection globally and particularly in Pakistan.