Animals as potential reservoirs for dengue transmission: A systematic review

Sylvia Xiao Wei Gwee, Ashley L. St John, Gregory C. Gray, Junxiong Pang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Dengue is a rapidly spreading mosquito-borne flavivirus infection that is prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Humans are known to be the main reservoir host maintaining the epidemic cycles of dengue but it is unclear if dengue virus is also maintained in a similar enzootic cycle. The systematic review was conducted in accordance to Cochrane's PRISMA recommendations. A search was done on PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus and Cochrane Library. Key data on animal dengue positivity was extracted and classified according to animal type and diagnostic modes. Of the 3818 articles identified, 56 articles were used in this review. A total of 16,333 animals were tested, 1817 of which were positive for dengue virus by RT-PCR or serology. Dengue positivity was detected in bats (10.1%), non-human primates (27.3%), birds (11%), bovid (4.1%), dogs (1.6%), horses (5.1%), pigs (34.1%), rodents (3.5%), marsupials (13%) and other small animals (7.3%). While majority of dengue positivity via serology suggests potential enzootic transmission, but regular dengue virus spillback cannot be excluded. With the exception of bats, acute infection among animals is limited. Further investigation on animals is critically required to better understand their role as potential reservoir in dengue transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100216
JournalOne Health
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal reservoir
  • Dengue infection
  • Enzootic transmission
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Animals as potential reservoirs for dengue transmission: A systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this