What is dengue fever?

Approximately 390 million people worldwide are infected with dengue fever annually, and 96 million showing symptoms[]. Over the past 20 years, the number of dengue fever infection reported to the WHO has increased tenfold, indicating the disease's growing global impact[].

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Number of dengue fever infections in the world

Dengue fever is an infectious disease caused by the dengue virus and transmitted by mosquitoes. There are four different types of the dengue virus. If a person gets infected with a different type after recovering from one, there’s a higher risk of developing severe dengue fever. Severe dengue fever can lead to death[].

Many people infected with dengue fever show no symptoms, but some do. The symptoms that appear can vary ().

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Main symptoms of dengue fever

Also, if the disease becomes severe, additional symptoms may appear even after the fever subsides ().

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Main symptoms of severe dengue fever

Dengue fever is classified as one of the “Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)” and significantly hinders the achievement of “SDGs Target 3.3, which seeks to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases, and other communicable diseases.” []. Furthermore, the spread of dengue fever causes economic losses, obstructing the realization of “SDGs Target 10.2, which aims for the social, economic, and political inclusion of all by 2030”[].

Therefore, quick and active measures to reduce the number of dengue fever infections are essential to achieve the SDGs by 2030[]..

The Problem

To reduce the number of dengue fever infections, it is essential to promote vaccination, control the mosquitoes that transmit the disease, and raise awareness among residents in affected areas[].

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Three necessary achievements to reduce the number of dengue fever infections

However, the most effective current vaccine for dengue fever can actually increase the risk of severe degue fever in individuals who have never been infected with dengue and don't have antibodies against it. Therefore, it's necessary to identify whether individuals have anti-dengue virus antibodies. For more details, please see the Human Practices page.

The most common method for controlling the mosquitoes that transmit dengue fever is through insecticide spraying. However, there are concerns that this method is not fully effective[]. To enhance its effectiveness, it is necessary to know where insecticide spraying should be prioritized and understand how effective past spraying efforts have been.

Lastly, people living in areas where dengue fever is prevalent often do not have accurate information on the local outbreak situation. This lack of knowledge prevents them from taking proactive actions to eliminate the dengue virus. For more details, please see the Human Practices page.

For all the reasons mentioned, in order to implement vaccination distribution, mosquito control, and awareness raising among residents at a high level, access to extensive, real-time data on the number of dengue fever cases, as well as data on individual dengue infection histories, is essential.

These data can be obtained through surveillance, but many countries do not have an adequate surveillance system in place. This problem is due to the current testing methods being costly, less sensitive, and having low throughput, making them unsuitable for surveillance.

To solve these challenges, we are working on developing a new dengue fever testing method, aiming to overcome the problems present in the current approach.


The two testing methods we developed, CFNT and 3D-PCR, are lower in cost, higher in sensitivity, and have higher throughput compared to existing methods. Our testing methods will undoubtedly contribute to lowering the barriers in conducting surveillance. For more details, please see the Proof of Concept page.

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Three advantages of our test methods

Our solution

Our project “STAND UP: Swift Analysis Neutralizing Dengue for the Upliftment of Public Health” includes two dengue fever test methods. The first one, “CFNT: Cell Fluorescence Neutralization Test”, can evaluate the amount of neutralizing antibodies against dengue fever. The second one, “3D-PCR,” allows identifying recent dengue fever infections.For more details, please see the Design page.

The Goal

We plan to collect data from surveillance conducted using CFNT and 3D-PCR and intend to publish it as open source. By making this data public, health organizations, including various governments and the WHO, can predict outbreaks based on real-time infection data and properly allocate medical resources, including vaccines. Additionally, the infection history data obtained through CFNT can lower the barriers to making decisions about vaccine introduction, contributing significantly to vaccine distribution.

Additionally, by sharing this data, governments and health organizations can not only identify where focused mosquito control (vector control) is needed, but also assess the effectiveness of actual mosquito control activities, leading to more efficient implementations of them.

Also, people living in dengue fever outbreak areas can understand the local dengue fever situation and evaluate their risk of developing severe dengue fever by accessing this data and knowing if they have anti-dengue virus antibodies. With such knowledge, they can actively engage in basic dengue prevention measures and activities to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds.

Furthermore, by making this data accessible to everyone, we hope to raise awareness about dengue fever among stakeholders who have been indifferent until now, and to energize global efforts against dengue. This initiative is extremely important for transforming the status of dengue fever from a “neglected tropical disease” to a disease that receives attention.

Our goal is to support all efforts aiming to reduce the number of dengue fever cases, serving as a central organization for research, prevention, and measures against dengue. Through these activities, we aim to contribute to achieving “SDGs Goal 3.3: End the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases, and other communicable diseases” and “SDGs Goal 10.2: Aim for the social, economic, and political inclusion of all by 2030”.

Dengue fever is also one of the 20 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), which are endemic primarily in tropical regions and disproportionately affect women and children in impoverished communities. These diseases are said to have devastating health, social, and economic consequences for more than one billion people.


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