Using paired serology and surveillance data to quantify dengue transmission and control during a large outbreak in Fiji

14 Aug 2018
Kucharski AJ, Kama M, Watson CH, Funk S, Henderson AD, Brady OJ, Vanhomwegen J, Manuguerra JC, Lau CL, Edmunds JW, Aaskov J, Nilles EJ, Cao-Lormeau V-M, Hué S, Hibberd ML

Dengue is a major health burden, but it can be challenging to examine transmission and evaluate control measures because outbreaks depend on multiple factors, including human population structure, prior immunity and climate. We combined population-representative paired sera collected before and after the 2013/14 dengue-3 outbreak in Fiji with surveillance data to determine how such factors influence transmission and control in island settings. Our results suggested the 10–19 year-old age group had the highest risk of infection, but we did not find strong evidence that other demographic or environmental risk factors were linked to seroconversion. A mathematical model jointly fitted to surveillance and serological data suggested that herd immunity and seasonally varying transmission could not explain observed dynamics. However, the model showed evidence of an additional reduction in transmission coinciding with a vector clean-up campaign, which may have contributed to the decline in cases in the later stages of the outbreak.