Seroprevalence of dengue virus infection and its detrimental effects on pregnant women in wake of the recent floods


  • Ayesha Mubbashir Department of Medicine, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
  • Zain Shaikh Department of Medicine, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
  • Aaima Memon Department of Medicine, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
  • Jenelle Alvares Department of Medicine, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
  • Ahmad Shahid Department of Medicine, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan



Dengue, Pakistan, Pregnancy, Infants, Floods


Dengue fever is a significant public health problem in many tropical and subtropical countries, especially those affected by severe floods as a result of global warming. The climate of these areas provides a favourable environment for the breeding vector of this disease. With Asia bearing 70% of the burden, Pakistan has been found to have a high incidence of dengue. Lack of proper healthcare facilities, rapid increase in population and substandard drainage system are a few of the problems resulting in the high number of cases. With evidence reporting the possibility of vertical transmission of this disease, it is necessary to determine the effects of dengue on the mother and the infant. Adverse effects include an increased risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, fetal loss, and maternal mortality in severe cases. The recent disastrous monsoon rainfall in Pakistan has inflicted great damage on rural areas; with the number of dengue fever cases rising to 64,000. The situation continues to worsen as the absence of proper health care and lack of action from relevant bodies has left many pregnant women vulnerable to dengue infection and unable to have safe deliveries. To combat this, the distribution of relief boxes is needed to alleviate the problems faced by victims of dengue, especially pregnant women. In order to raise awareness of this situation, this commentary has been written to describe the need for immediate action to be taken so that potential casualties of this generation and the one to come can be minimized.


Metrics Loading ...


Kraivong R, Punyadee N, Liszewski MK, Atkinson JP, Avirutnan P. Dengue and the Lectin Pathway of the Complement System. Viruses. 2021;13(7):1219.

Guzman MG, Gubler DJ, Izquierdo A, Martinez E, Halstead SB. Dengue infection. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2016;2:16055.

WHO. Dengue and severe dengue, 2022. Available at: Accessed on 15 March 2023.

Brady OJ, Gething PW, Bhatt S, Messina JP, Brownstein JS, Hoen AG, et al. Refining the global spatial limits of dengue virus transmission by evidence-based consensus. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012;6(8):e1760.

Bhatt S, Gething PW, Brady OJ, Messina JP, Farlow AW, et al. The global distribution and burden of dengue. Nature. 2013;496(7446):504-7.

Sabir M, Ali Y, Muhammad N. Forecasting incidence of dengue and selecting best method for prevention. J Pak Med Assoc. 2018;68(9):1383-6.

Pouliot SH, Xiong X, Harville E, Paz-Soldan V, Tomashek KM, Breart G, et al. Maternal dengue and pregnancy outcomes: a systematic review. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2010;65(2):107-18.

Chuang YC, Wang SY, Lin YS, Chen HR, Yeh TM. Re-evaluation of the pathogenic roles of nonstructural protein 1 and its antibodies during dengue virus infection. J Biomed Sci. 2013;20(1):42.

Brar R, Sikka P, Suri V, Singh MP, Suri V, Mohindra R, et al. Maternal and fetal outcomes of dengue fever in pregnancy: a large prospective and descriptive observational study. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2021;304(1):91-100.

Basurko C, Matheus S, Hildéral H, Everhard S, Restrepo M, Cuadro-Alvarez E, et al. Estimating the Risk of Vertical Transmission of Dengue: A Prospective Study. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2018;98(6):1826-32.

Backes CH, Markham K, Moorehead P, Cordero L, Nankervis CA, Giannone PJ. Maternal preeclampsia and neonatal outcomes. J Pregnancy. 2011;2011:214365.

Harde M, Bhadade R, deSouza R, Jhingan M. Thrombocytopenia in Pregnancy Nearing Term: A Clinical Analysis. Indian J Crit Care Med. 2019;23(11):503-8.

Relief Web. Estimated damage to houses in flood affected districts and existing population density in Pakistan, 2022 - Pakistan. Available at: districtsandexistingpopseptember-2022. Accessed on 15 March 2023.

Relief Web. Pakistan. Monsoon floods - situation report no. 11, 2022. Available at: Accessed on 18 November 2022.

Voice of America (VOA News). Pregnant women struggle to find care after Pakistan's floods, 2022. Available at: find-care-after-pakistan-s-floods-/6792807. Accessed on 18 November 2022.