Preprint Review Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

COVID-19 Infection and Transmission are Observably Less in Highly Dengue-endemic Countries

Version 1 : Received: 2 April 2020 / Approved: 3 April 2020 / Online: 3 April 2020 (15:48:36 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 13 April 2020 / Approved: 14 April 2020 / Online: 14 April 2020 (08:49:03 CEST)
Version 3 : Received: 2 May 2020 / Approved: 5 May 2020 / Online: 5 May 2020 (03:00:34 CEST)

How to cite: Biswas, S.; Sukla, S. COVID-19 Infection and Transmission are Observably Less in Highly Dengue-endemic Countries. Preprints 2020, 2020040040 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0040.v1). Biswas, S.; Sukla, S. COVID-19 Infection and Transmission are Observably Less in Highly Dengue-endemic Countries. Preprints 2020, 2020040040 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0040.v1).

Abstract

We observed that global severity maps of ongoing dengue epidemic and COVID-19 pandemic do not overlap. Countries where dengue is highly endemic (>1.5 million cases/year) appear to be less hit by COVID-19 pandemic in terms of infection and transmission. Other evidences also support our proposition that pre-exposure to other wide-spread viral infections like dengue may thwart the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Subject Areas

Dengue; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; epidemiology; infection; mortality; cross-protection; Dengue vaccine; ELISA; Dengvaxia

Comments (4)

Comment 1
Received: 27 April 2020
Commenter: Lucas Meira costa
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: I had come across the same observation here in Brazil. Cities with a history of Dengue epidemies had a slower covid increase.
Add-ons to the false positive Dengue results occurred on Singapore, I believe there might be a crossaction of the antibodies of one desease with the other.
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Response 1 to Comment 1
Received: 3 May 2020
Commenter: Subhajit Biswas
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: Dear Lucas,

Thank you for sharing your observation.

Please see version 2 of our article (link: https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202004.0040/v2) for more data and updates on our observations.

You are right-since there is evidence of cross-reaction of antibodies between the two viruses, the two viruses i.e. SARS-CoV-2 and dengue virus must share antigenic similarity.

Based on this observations, we believe that already available (licensed & safe) live attenuated dengue vaccines may be the best choice we have" right now" to immunize people people in Europe, USA, Iran and China and save thousands of lives in the coming days before safe and tested SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and antivirals become available.

"Antibody-dependent enhancement" should not be a big problem in the post-vaccinated individuals as dengue is not endemic in the above COVID-19-worst hit countries.

Our proposition can be easily tested in animal models by vaccinating experimental animals like monkeys with live dengue vaccines and then infecting them with SARS-CoV-2 and comparing protection with respect to infected but non-vaccinated controls.

Best wishes,
Subhajit.
Comment 2
Received: 5 May 2020
Commenter: Subhajit Biswas
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: Dear Readers,

Please see version 3 of our article (link: given above) for more data and updates on our observations.

Since there is evidence of cross-reaction of antibodies between the two viruses, the two viruses i.e. SARS-CoV-2 and dengue virus must share antigenic similarity.

Based on observations of "non-overlap"between dengue and COVID-19 global maps & serological cross-reactions between the two viruses, we believe that already available (licensed & safe) live attenuated dengue vaccines may be the best choice we have" right now" to immunize people in Europe, USA, Iran and China and save thousands of lives in the coming days before safe and tested SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and antivirals become available.

"Antibody-dependent enhancement" should not be a big problem in the post-vaccinated individuals as dengue is not endemic in the above COVID-19-worst hit countries.

Our proposition can be easily tested in animal models by vaccinating experimental animals like monkeys with live dengue vaccines and then infecting them with SARS-CoV-2 and comparing protection with respect to infected but non-vaccinated controls.

Best wishes,
Authors.
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Comment 3
Received: 19 June 2020
Commenter: Abinash Mallick
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: Further computational modeling based approach was perceived to validate this hypothesis.
Please find the preprint link of the research article:
https://osf.io/dutx4/
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