A TEM micrograph showing dengue virus virions (the cluster of dark dots near the center) Dengue fever virus (DENV) is an RNA virus of the family Flaviviridae; genus Flavivirus. Other members of the same genus include yellow fever virus, West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, tick-borne encephalitis virus, Kyasanur forest disease virus, and Omsk hemorrhagic fever virus. Most are transmitted by arthropods (mosquitoes or ticks), and are therefore also referred to as arboviruses (arthropod-borne viruses). The dengue virus genome (genetic material) contains about 11,000 nucleotide bases, which code for the three different types of protein molecules (C, prM and E) that form the virus particle and seven other types of protein molecules (NS1, NS2a, NS2b, NS3, NS4a, NS4b, NS5) that are only found in infected host cells and are required for replication of the virus. There are four strains of the virus, which are called serotypes, and these are referred to as DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4. All four serotypes can cause the full spectrum of disease. Infection with one serotype is believed to produce lifelong immunity to that serotype but only short term protection against the others. The severe complications on secondary infection occurs particularly if someone previously exposed to serotype DENV-1 then contracts serotype DENV-2 or serotype DENV-3, or if someone previously exposed to type DENV-3 then acquires DENV-2. The causative agent of Dengue Fever (also known as the Devil's Crunch or Breakbone Fever) is the Dengue Fever Virus (DENV), a member of the Flaviviridae family and the Flavivirus species. However, there are four serotypes of the Dengue fever virus, aptly named DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4 and within these serotypes there are clades and strains that are inherently different in nature. However, as a conclusion, one would say the DENV virus is the agent of Dengue Fever.
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The mosquito Aedes aegypti feeding off a human host
Dengue virus is primarily transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, particularly A. aegypti. These mosquitoes usually live between the latitudes of 35° North and 35° South below an elevation of 1,000 metres (3,300 ft). They typically bite during the day, particularly in the early morning and in the evening. Other Aedes species that transmit the disease include A. albopictus, A. polynesiensis and A. scutellaris. Humans are the primary host of the virus, but it also circulates in nonhuman primates. An infection can be acquired via a single bite. A female mosquito that takes a blood meal from a person infected with dengue fever becomes itself infected with the virus in the cells lining its gut. About 8–10 days later, the virus spreads to other tissues including the mosquito's salivary glands and is subsequently released into its saliva. The virus seems to have no detrimental effect on the mosquito, which remains infected for life. Aedes aegypti prefers to lay its eggs in artificial water containers, to live in close proximity to humans, and to feed off people rather than other vertebrates. Dengue can also be transmitted via infected blood products and through organ donation. In countries such as Singapore, where dengue is endemic, the risk is estimated to be between 1.6 and 6 per 10,000 transfusions. Vertical transmission (from mother to child) during pregnancy or at birth has been reported. Other person-to-person modes of transmission have also been reported, but are very unusual. Causative agent
Dengue fever is an acute mosquito-borne infection caused by the dengue viruses. This is found in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world. For instance, dengue fever is an endemic illness in many countries in South East Asia. The dengue viruses...