L Huang 1 , 2 , X Luo 1 , 2 , J Shao 1 , 3 , H Yan 1 , 2 , Y Qiu 4 , P Ke 5 , W Zheng 6 , B Xu 7 , W Li 8 , D Sun 4 , D Cao 9 , C Chen 10 , F Zhuo 11 , X Lin 12 , F Tang 13 , B Bao 14 , Y Zhou 15 , X Zhang 16 , H Li 17 , J Li 18 , D Wan 19 , L Yang 20 , Y Chen 21 , Q Zhong 22 , X Gu 23 , J Liu 24 , L Huang 25 , R Xie 26 , X Li 27 , Y Xu 1 , 2 , Z Luo 1 , 2 , M Liao 1 , 2 , H Wang 1 , 2 , L Sun 1 , 2 , H Li 1 , 2 , G W Lau 28 , C Duan 29 , 30
Dengue is a rapidly spreading mosquito-borne disease caused by the dengue virus (DENV) and has emerged as a severe public health problem around the world. Guangdong, one of the southern Chinese provinces, experienced a serious outbreak of dengue in 2014, which was believed to be the worst dengue epidemic in China over the last 20 years. To better understand the epidemic, we collected the epidemiological data of the outbreak and analyzed 14,594 clinically suspected dengue patients from 25 hospitals in Guangdong. Dengue cases were then laboratory-confirmed by the detection of DENV non-structural protein 1 (NS1) antigen and/or DENV RNA. Afterwards, clinical manifestations of dengue patients were analyzed and 93 laboratory-positive serum specimens were chosen for the DENV serotyping and molecular analysis. Our data showed that the 2014 dengue outbreak in Guangdong had spread to 20 cities and more than 45 thousand people suffered from dengue fever. Of 14,594 participants, 11,387 were definitively diagnosed. Most manifested with a typical non-severe clinical course, and 1.96 % developed to severe dengue. The strains isolated successfully from the serum samples were identified as DENV-1. Genetic analyses revealed that the strains were classified into genotypes I and V of DENV-1, and the dengue epidemic of Guangdong in 2014 was caused by indigenous cases and imported cases from the neighboring Southeast Asian countries of Malaysia and Singapore. Overall, our study is informative and significant to the 2014 dengue outbreak in Guangdong and will provide crucial implications for dengue prevention and control in China and elsewhere.