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New model accurately predicts who will develop deadly form of dengue fever
Date:2/16/2012

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch have developed the first accurate predictive model to differentiate between dengue fever (DF) and its more severe form, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). The breakthrough, which could vastly reduce the disease's mortality rate, was reported in related papers in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and Clinical and Translational Science. These studies could lead to a personalized approach to treatment of dengue fever.

Approximately 2.5 billion people more than 40 percent of the world's population are at risk for dengue infection, mainly in tropical and subtropical regions. An estimated 500,000 people with DHF are hospitalized each year, a large proportion of whom are children, and about 12,500 of those affected die. Dengue is remerging in the Americas with 1.6 million cases in 2010 due to increasing urbanization, globalization of travel and the reduced use of DDT pesticide. In the U.S., the number of people hospitalized for dengue tripled between 2000 and 2007.

"We have long known that dengue has many manifestations, from asymptomatic to a flu-like state to a life-threatening condition. If we could figure out early a patient's susceptibility to the deadly form, we could save thousands of lives," said lead author Dr. Allan Brasier, Director of UTMB's Institute for Translational Sciences, with a multidisciplinary team of protein biochemists and bioinformatics specialists developing approaches to personalized medicine work that will allow doctors to provide better individual diagnostics and treatments for common illnesses.

There is no drug treatment for DHF and fatality rates can exceed 20 percent; however, early and intensive supportive therapy such as transfusions to reduce bleeding complications and organ failure can reduce the rates to less than one percent.

In the new papers, the researchers outline results of two separate proteomics a
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Contact: Olivia Goodman
olivia.goodman@gabbe.com
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Source:Eurekalert

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