Seroprevalence of dengue virus infections in Ghana
Background: Dengue virus (DENV) causes febrile illness that may be misdiagnosed with other infectious diseases. This may contribute to the possibility of missing out DENV infections. Recent reports show seroepidemiologic evidence of DENV infections in Ghana, but the frequency of infection and the geographic dissemination are unknown.
Objectives: To examine the seroprevalence, the geographical pattern and the age distribution of DENV infections in Ghana.
Design: A cross sectional epidemiological study with sera (N = 417) from all 10 regions in Ghana. The sera were obtained during the national surveillance of suspected outbreak of yellow fever (YF) in 2014. The Panbio Dengue IgG Indirect ELISA kit was used for the detection of IgG antibodies.
Results: The seroprevalence of dengue IgG was 29.7% among the suspected YF patients in Ghana. Seroprevalence of DENV IgG increased with age. It was 10.4% in the 0-9 year olds, 26.1% in children and adolescents from 10-19 years, 43.1% in the group of 20-29 year old young adults and 57.0% in the age group ≥ 30 years. The seroprevalence ranged from 18.2% in the Western region to 57.9% in the Upper East. The Upper East and the Volta region had a significantly higher seroprevalence than the overall seroprevalence in Ghana (p = 0.0094).
Conclusion: The study shows low to moderate levels of dengue virus infection in Ghana and demonstrates that infections occur in all age group and differ between regions. Awareness of DENV infection should be created in the country in cases of undifferentiated fever.