Dengue after Zika: characterizing impacts of Zika emergence on endemic dengue transmission

Rebecca K. Borchering, Angkana Huang, Luis Mier-y-Teran-Romero, Diana P. Rojas, Isabel Rodriguez-Barraquer, Leah C. Katzelnick, Silvio D. Martinez, Gregory D. King, Stephanie C. Cinkovich, Justin Lessler, Derek A.T. Cummings

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Mar 19, 2019
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Received Date: 27th February 19

In 2015 and 2016, Zika virus (ZIKV) swept through many Latin American countries where dengue virus (DENV) is endemic. Dengue and Zika viruses are of the same family, share a vector and may interact competitively or synergistically through human immune responses. We examine dengue incidence data from Brazil and Colombia from before, during, and after the Zika epidemic. We find evidence that dengue incidence was atypically low in 2017 in both Brazil and Colombia. We investigate whether Zika incidence at the state or department level is associated with changes in dengue incidence and find mixed results. We use simulations to investigate expected impact of cross-protection or enhancement between dengue and Zika. Our simulations show that regardless of the mechanism, low periods of dengue incidence are followed by a resurgence in dengue cases. It is therefore likely that countries currently experiencing low levels of dengue incidence will experience large dengue seasons in the near future. By considering multiple combinations of DENV and ZIKV reproduction numbers, we demonstrate that the mixed results of our statistical models are not entirely unexpected. Correlations in DENV and ZIKV reproduction number could contribute to complicating or masking an association between their case counts.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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