Possible factors influencing the seroprevalence of dengue among residents of the forest fringe areas of Peninsular Malaysia

Juraina Abd-Jamil, Romano Ngui, Syahrul Nellis, Rosmadi Fauzi, Ai Lian Yvonne Lim, Karuthan Chinna, Chee-Sieng Khor, Sazaly Abubakar

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Dengue is an endemic mosquito-borne viral disease prevalent in many urban areas of the tropic, especially the Southeast Asia. Its presence among the indigenous population of Peninsular Malaysia (Orang Asli), however, has not been well described. The present study was performed to investigate the seroprevalence of dengue among the Orang Asli (OA) residing at the forest fringe areas of Peninsular Malaysia and determine the factors that could affect the transmission of dengue among the OA. Eight OA communities consisting of 491 individuals were recruited. From the study, at least 17% of the recruited study participants were positive for dengue IgG, indicating past exposure to dengue. Analysis on the demographic and socioeconomic variables suggested that high seroprevalence of dengue was significantly associated with those above 13 years old and a low household income of less than MYR500 (USD150). It was also associated with the vast presence of residential areas and the presence of a lake. Remote sensing analysis showed that higher land surface temperatures and lower land elevations also contributed to higher dengue seroprevalence. The present study suggested that both demographic and geographical factors contributed to the increasing risk of contracting dengue among the OA living at the forest fringe areas of Peninsular Malaysia. The OA, hence, remained vulnerable to dengue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1019238
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Tropical Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

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