Clinical features and outcomes of COVID-19 and dengue co-infection: a systematic review

Tsheten Tsheten, Archie C A Clements, Darren J Gray, Ripon K Adhikary, Kinley Wangdi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Dengue is the most common arboviral disease in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. Like other regions, dengue-endemic areas have faced the additional public health and socio-economic impact of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. COVID-19 and dengue co-infections have been reported, with complicated patient management and care requirements. This review aimed to collate and synthesise current knowledge on the clinical features and outcomes of COVID-19 and dengue virus co-infection, a potentially important new dimension to be considered in public health management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

METHODS: A systematic literature review was conducted using PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus databases from 1st January to 21st November 2020. The key search terms used were "dengue" and "coronavirus". Descriptive analysis with graphical illustrations were used to present the clinical and laboratory parameters of the co-infection.

RESULTS: Thirteen published papers and four news articles were included in the review. Most studies were case reports with a detailed description of the clinical and laboratory characteristics of the co-infection. All cases were in adults with the exception of a six-year old child. The common symptoms of co-infection were fever, dyspnea, headache, and cough. Common laboratory results included thrombocytopenia, lymphocytopenia, elevated transaminases, and leukopenia. Serious outcomes of co-infection included septic shock, acute respiratory disease syndrome and multi-organ failure, leading to death in some patients.

CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 and dengue co-infection was associated with severe disease and fatal outcomes. The correct diagnosis and treatment of co-infection poses a substantial challenge due to the overlapping clinical and laboratory parameters. Therefore, confirmative diagnostic tests are necessary for accurate and timely diagnosis and patient management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number729
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


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