Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Patterns of disease in Sri Lankan dengue patients
  1. G N Malavige1,
  2. P K Ranatunga2,
  3. V G N S Velathanthiri1,
  4. S Fernando1,
  5. D H Karunatilaka2,
  6. J Aaskov3,
  7. S L Seneviratne4
  1. 1Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenapura, Sri Lanka
  2. 2Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo 8, Sri Lanka
  3. 3Arbovirus Reference Centre, Queensland, Australia
  4. 4Department of Clinical Immunology, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr S L Seneviratne
    Department of Clinical Immunology, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK; suran200{at}


Background: Dengue is the most important mosquito borne viral infection in the world. Nearly 90% of infections occur in children. At present, prospective information on clinical and laboratory findings in South Asian children with dengue is generally lacking.

Aim: To describe patterns of clinical disease in a cohort of children hospitalised with dengue during a major dengue epidemic in Sri Lanka.

Results: A total of 104 children were studied during a three month period. Eighteen had dengue fever (DF) and 86 had dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF). Of those with DHF, 34, 23, 27, and 2 had DHF grade I, II, III, and IV respectively. Based on dengue serology testing, 13 of the DF patients had a primary infection and 5 had secondary dengue infections. In contrast, 68 of the children with DHF had secondary and 18 had primary dengue infections. Oral candidiasis was seen in 19 children. The odds ratio for children with secondary dengue infection to develop DHF was 9.8 (95% CI 3.1 to 31.2).

Conclusion: Studies on patterns of paediatric dengue disease in different regions should help clinicians and health administrators make more informed and evidence based health planning decisions. It should also help towards mapping out dengue trends on a global scale. Oral candidiasis has not been previously documented in children suffering with acute dengue in Sri Lanka or elsewhere. Studying underlying reasons for this manifestation during future dengue epidemics may provide useful leads in understanding overall dengue pathogenesis.

  • DF, dengue fever
  • DHF, dengue haemorrhagic fever
  • DSS, dengue shock syndrome
  • candida
  • Sri Lanka
  • clinical findings
  • dengue
  • laboratory findings

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.