Contribution of viral respiratory infections to dengue-like illness presentation at a community clinic in southern Malaysia

Amreeta Dhanoa, Chin Fang Ngim, Nor'azim Mohd Yunos, Syed M.Tupur Husain, Lian Yih Pong, Wan Fadhilah Wan Ismail, Robert D. Hontz, Sharifah Syed Hassan

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This study explored the contribution of viral respiratory infections (VRIs) in dengue-like illness (DLI) patients and their distinguishing clinicolaboratory parameters. Two hundred DLI patients were prospectively recruited (July 1- October 1, 2019) from a community clinic in Southern Malaysia. Patients ≥ 18 years with acute fever and fulfilling the WHO criteria of probable dengue were recruited. They underwent blood testing: blood counts, rapid dengue tests (nonstructural antigen-1/IgM) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and Leptospira. Nasopharyngeal swabs (NPSs) were collected for FilmArray®RP2plus testing. From the 200 NPSs, 58 respiratory viruses (RVs) were detected in 54 patients. Of the 96 dengue-confirmed cases, 86 had dengue mono-infection, and 10 were coinfected with RVs. Of the 104 nondengue, 44 were RV positive and 4 Leptospira positive. Zika and chikungunya virus were not detected. Overall, the etiological diagnosis was confirmed for 72% of patients. Clinicolaboratory parameters were compared between dengue mono-infection and VRI mono-infection. Patients with coinfections were excluded. Multiple logistic regression showed that recent household/neighborhood history of dengue (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 5.9, 95% CI = 1.7-20.7), leukopenia (aOR: 12.5, 95% CI = 2.6-61.4) and thrombocytopenia (aOR: 5.5, 95% CI = 1.3-23.0) predicted dengue. Inversely, rhinorrhoea (aOR: 0.1, 95% CI = 0.01-0.3) and cough (aOR: 0.3, 95% CI = 0.1-0.9) favored VRI. Thus, VRIs comprise many infections diagnosed initially as DLIs. Early clinicolaboratory parameters can guide physicians screen patients for further testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-191
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

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