NEW DELHI: The study analyzing the novel coronavirus outbreak in Brazil has found some connection between past outbreak of dengue fever and COVID-19. Miguel Nicolelis, Professor, Duke University, led the study which suggested that exposure to dengue fever can induce some level of COVID-19 immunity. He compared the geographical distribution of COVID-19 with that of dengue spread in 2019 and 2020.
Study said that the places with lower COVID-19 infection rates and slow case growth are the locations with intense dengue outbreak in this or last year. This breakthrough finding raises the question of the possibility of immunological cross-reactivity between dengue’s flavivirus sero types and SARS-CoV-2. Miguel said that if the study gets official credibility, this can provide a way for some level of COVID-19 immunological protection by dengue infection or immunization with an efficacious and safe dengue vaccine. He added that the findings are interesting because in earlier studies it was found that patients with dengue antibodies were falsely tested positive for COVID-19, even if they were never infected with the novel coronavirus.
The study establishes a significant link between areas showing low COVID-19 infection, mortality and growth rates with areas exhibiting higher levels of dengue antibodies. Brazil has the third-highest number of COVID-19 positive cases in the world. The study team found a similar relation between both the diseases in other parts of Latin America, Asia and islands of Pacific and Indian Ocean.