Novel tools for the surveillance and control of dengue: findings by the dengueTools research consortium

Annelies Wilder-Smith, Hasitha Tissera, Sazaly AbuBakar, Pattamaporn Kittayapong, James Logan, Andreas Neumayr, Joacim Rocklöv, Peter Byass, Valérie R. Louis, Yesim Tozan, Eduardo Massad, Raman Preet

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Dengue fever persists as a major global disease burden, and may increase as a consequence of climate change. Along with other measures, research actions to improve diagnosis, surveillance, prevention, and predictive models are highly relevant. The European Commission funded the DengueTools consortium to lead a major initiative in these areas, and this review synthesises the outputs and findings of this work conducted from 2011 to 2016. Research areas: DengueTools organised its work into three research areas, namely [1] Early warning and surveillance systems; [2] Strategies to prevent dengue in children; and [3] Predictive models for the global spread of dengue. Research area 1 focused on case-studies undertaken in Sri Lanka, including developing laboratory-based sentinel surveillance, evaluating economic impact, identifying drivers of transmission intensity, evaluating outbreak prediction capacity and developing diagnostic capacity. Research area 2 addressed preventing dengue transmission in school children, with case-studies undertaken in Thailand. Insecticide-treated school uniforms represented an intriguing potential approach, with some encouraging results, but which were overshadowed by a lack of persistence of insecticide on the uniforms with repeated washing. Research area 3 evaluated potential global spread of dengue, particularly into dengue-naïve areas such as Europe. The role of international travel, changing boundaries of vectors, developing models of vectorial capacity under different climate change scenarios and strategies for vector control in outbreaks was all evaluated. Concluding remarks: DengueTools was able to make significant advances in methods for understanding and controlling dengue transmission in a range of settings. These will have implications for public health agendas to counteract dengue, including vaccination programmes. Outlook: Towards the end of the DengueTools project, Zika virus emerged as an unexpected epidemic in the central and southern America. Given the similarities between the dengue and Zika viruses, with vectors in common, some of the DengueTools thinking translated readily into the Zika situation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1549930
JournalGlobal Health Action
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Aedes
  • Dengue
  • DengueTools
  • Zika
  • importation
  • impregnated clothing
  • predictive modelling
  • reverse transcription-recombinase polymerase amplification
  • schools
  • surveillance
  • travel
  • vectorial capacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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