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Inverse Correlation between Dengue Fever and COVID-19 spread in Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia

Citation

Marcondes, Diego; Nicolelis, Miguel A. L.; Peixoto, Pedro S. (2021), Inverse Correlation between Dengue Fever and COVID-19 spread in Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.rbnzs7hbj

Abstract

Here we investigated whether the dengue fever pandemic of 2019-2020 may have influenced COVID-19 incidence and spread around the world. In Brazil, the geographic distribution of dengue fever was highly complementary to that of COVID-19. This was accompanied by an inverse correlation between COVID-19 and dengue fever incidence that could not be explained by socioeconomic factors. This inverse correlation was observed for 5,016 Brazilian municipalities reporting COVID-19 cases, 558 micro- and 137 meso-regions, 27 states and 5 regions. Brazilian states with high population levels of dengue IgM in 2020 exhibited: (i) lower COVID-19 case and death incidence, (ii) slower infection growth rates, and (iii) took longer to accumulate COVID-19 cases. No such inverse correlations were observed for the chikungunya virus, which is also transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The same inverse correlation between COVID-19 and dengue fever incidence was observed for 145 locations (66 countries and the 64 states of Mexico and Colombia) in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia. Countries with high dengue incidence took longer to accumulate COVID-19 cases than those without dengue. Although the dataset considered has quality and availability limitations, these findings raise the possibility of an immunological cross-reaction between dengue virus serotypes and SARS-CoV-2, which could have led to partial immunological protection for COVID-19 in dengue infected communities. However, further studies are necessary to better test this hypothesis.

Methods

COVID-19 incidence in Brazil was obtained from Brasil.io (https://brasil.io/covid19/), which compiles data from all the Brazilian state health agencies and was accessed on 2020-10-06. The period considered in the analysis was from the first COVID-19 case to the 26th epidemiological week of 2020 (which ends on the 27 th of June 2020). The COVID-19 incidence in countries around the world was
collected from Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins
University (JHU) (https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/).

State-level data were considered for Colombia and Mexico, and a country-level was considered for the other countries under
investigation. Dengue epidemiological and serological data was compiled from data published regularly in the official epidemiological bulletins during 2019 and 2020 by the Brazilian Ministry of Health (Ministério da Saúde, 2020a and 2020b). The incidence available via
DATASUS (2020) considered the period from the 27th epidemiological week of 2019 to the 26th epidemiological week of 2020. This incidence for Latin American countries was collected from the Pan American Health Organization (www.paho.org), which also
provides dengue incidence data on a state level for Mexico. For Colombian states data was collected from bulletins made available by the Colombian Health Ministry (https://www.minsalud.gov.co). For other countries considered data was collected from disease threat reports provided by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control - (ECDC - www.ecdc.europa.eu).

Usage Notes

For more information about the datasets and the analysis of them please contact the authors.

Funding

Duke University Medical Center Distinguished Professor Endowed Chair

Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Award: 301778/2017-5

Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, Award: 301778/2017-5

Duke University Medical Center Distinguished Professor Endowed Chair