Dengue vaccination may boost Zika transmission

New findings suggest dengue vaccination may increase the frequency and scope of Zika outbreaks, highlighting a significant potential public health concern as more than a third of the global population lives in areas where dengue fever is already endemic. Co-infections of the two mosquito-borne viruses have already been reported.

For the study, published in Scientific Reports, researchers built on previous evidence suggesting residual dengue virus antibodies can enhance the likelihood of Zika infection. By creating a mathematical model of co-virus circulation, researchers found communities widely vaccinated for dengue are more likely to experience larger outbreaks of Zika.

"We concluded that vaccination against dengue among humans can significantly boost Zika transmission among the population and hence call for further study on integrated control measures on controlling dengue and Zika outbreak," said Yanni Xiao, a study supervisor and a professor at Xi'an Jiaotong University in China.

Researchers noted their findings do not discourage dengue vaccination, but rather suggest further investigation should be conducted to optimize vaccination programs to minimize the risk of Zika outbreaks.

To learn more about dengue fever, click here.

More articles on the Zika virus: 
Puerto Rico identifies first case of Zika-related microcephaly 
Nearly 1,000 pregnant US women have Zika 
CDC makes additional $70M available for Zika fight

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