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Introduction: There has been a recent increase in the spread of dengue to rural areas. Rural parts of western kenya are naturally prone to mosquito-borne diseases, however, limited research has been documented on infections with dengue. This study therefore investigated the presence of antibodies against dengue virus 2 (denv-2) in a cross-section of febrile out-patients visiting three selected hospitals to assess the level of exposure and to possibly identify the epidemiologic and clinical factors of seropositive participants.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study, we administered a questionnaire and used indirect elisa to test for the presence of denv-2 antibodies in febrile outpatients (n=422) visiting three selected hospitals in rural western kenya. All positive and borderline samples were re-evaluated by plaque reduction neutralization tests (prnt).
Results: The prevalence of denv-2 serocomplex antibodies was 8.5% by indirect elisa and 1.2% by prnt. Using bivariable analysis, age (p<0.0001), headache (or, 3.4 (1.6-7.4); p=0.002), retro-orbital pain (or, 3.1 (1.2-7.7); p=0.015), muscle ache (or, 2.6 (1.3-5.2); p= 0.007), joint
pain (or, 3.5 (1.7-7.3); p=0.001) and abdominal pain (or, 9.5 (2.44-37.24); p=0.001) were significantly associated with denv-2 seropositivity.
Conclusion: This study confirms that there is an existence of dengue virus 2 circulating in regions of western kenya. Age, headache, retro-orbital
pain, muscle ache, joint pain and abdominal pain were associated with increased denv-2 seropositivity.