University of Cambridge
Serostudies are needed to answer generalizable questions on disease risk. However, recruitment is usually biased by age or location. We present a nationally-representative study for dengue from 70 communities in Bangladesh. We collected data on risk factors, trapped mosquitoes and tested serum for IgG. Out of 5866 individuals, 24% had evidence of historic infection, ranging from 3% in the north to >80% in Dhaka. Being male (aOR:1.8, [95%CI:1.5-2.0]) and recent travel (aOR:1.3, [1.1-1.8]) were linked to seropositivity. We estimate that 40 million [34.3-47.2] people have been infected nationally, with 2.4 million ([1.3-4.5]) annual infections. Had we visited only 20 communities, seropositivity estimates would have ranged from 13% to 37%, highlighting the lack of representativeness generated by small numbers of communities. Our findings have implications for both the design of serosurveys and tackling dengue in Bangladesh.