METHODS AND FINDINGS: As a key step to estimate the economic and disease burden of dengue in Southeast Asia (SEA), we projected dengue cases from 2001 through 2010 using EFs. We conducted a systematic literature review (1995-2011) and identified 11 published articles reporting original, empirically derived EFs or the necessary data, and 11 additional relevant studies. To estimate EFs for total cases in countries where no empirical studies were available, we extrapolated data based on the statistically significant inverse relationship between an index of a country's health system quality and its observed reporting rate. We compiled an average 386,000 dengue episodes reported annually to surveillance systems in the region, and projected about 2.92 million dengue episodes. We conducted a probabilistic sensitivity analysis, simultaneously varying the most important parameters in 20,000 Monte Carlo simulations, and derived 95% certainty level of 2.73-3.38 million dengue episodes. We estimated an overall EF in SEA of 7.6 (95% certainty level: 7.0-8.8) dengue cases for every case reported, with an EF range of 3.8 for Malaysia to 19.0 in East Timor.
CONCLUSION: Studies that make no adjustment for underreporting would seriously understate the burden and cost of dengue in SEA and elsewhere. As the sites of the empirical studies we identified were not randomly chosen, the exact extent of underreporting remains uncertain. Nevertheless, the results reported here, based on a systematic analysis of the available literature, show general consistency and provide a reasonable empirical basis to adjust for underreporting.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: We estimated the economic and disease burden of dengue in 12 countries in SEA: Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, East-Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam. We obtained reported cases from multiple sources--surveillance data, World Health Organization (WHO), and published studies--and adjusted for underreporting using expansion factors from previous literature. We obtained unit costs per episode through a systematic literature review, and completed missing data using linear regressions. We excluded costs such as prevention and vector control, and long-term sequelae of dengue. Over the decade of 2001-2010, we obtained an annual average of 2.9 million (m) dengue episodes and 5,906 deaths. The annual economic burden (with 95% certainty levels) was US$950m (US$610m-US$1,384m) or about US$1.65 (US$1.06-US$2.41) per capita. The annual number of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), based on the original 1994 definition, was 214,000 (120,000-299,000), which is equivalent to 372 (210-520) DALYs per million inhabitants.
CONCLUSION: Dengue poses a substantial economic and disease burden in SEA with a DALY burden per million inhabitants in the region. This burden is higher than that of 17 other conditions, including Japanese encephalitis, upper respiratory infections, and hepatitis B.
METHODOLOGY: We conducted a systematic review of open-access literature published in PubMed Central and the Global Atlas of Helminth Infection. A total of 4182 articles were available and after applying selection criteria, 174 studies from the region were retained for analysis.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Ascaris was the commonest STH identified with an overall prevalence of 18% (95% CI, 14-23%) followed by Trichuris (14%, 9-19%) and hookworm (12%, 9-15%). Hookworm prevalence was highest in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. We found a geographical overlap in countries with high prevalence rates for Trichuris and Ascaris (Malaysia, Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam and Bangladesh). When the effect of community type was examined, prevalence rates of hookworm was comparable in rural (19%, 14-24%) and tribal communities (14%, 10-19%). Tribal communities, however, showed higher prevalence of Trichuris (38%, 18-63%) and Ascaris (32%, 23-43%) than rural communities (13%, 9-20% and 14%, 9-20% respectively). Considerable between and within country heterogeneity in the distribution of STH (I2 >90%) was also noted. When available data from school aged children (SAC) were analysed, prevalence of Ascaris (25% 16-31%) and Trichuris (22%, 14-34%) were higher than among the general population while that of hookworm (10%, 7-16%) was comparable.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our analysis showed significant variation in prevalence rates between and within countries in the region. Highlighting the importance of community type in prevalence and species mix, we showed that tribal and rural communities had higher hookworm infections than urban communities and for ascariasis and trichuriasis, tribal populations had higher levels of infection than rural populations. We also found a higher prevalence of ascariasis and trichuriasis in SAC compared to the general population but comparable levels of hookworm infections. These key findings need to be taken into account in planning future MDA and other interventions.