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Volume 50, Number 3, June 2017

Risk factors for concurrent bacteremia in adult patients with dengue 

Tun-Linn Thein, Ee-Ling Ng, Ming S. Yeang, Yee-Sin Leo, David C. Lye


Corresponding author:

Tun-Linn Thein, Corresponding author. Communicable Disease Center, Institute of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology, Department of Infectious Diseases, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, 11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433, Singapore. 


Background and purpose: 

Bacteremia in dengue may occur with common exposure to pathogens in association with severe organ impairment or severe dengue, which may result in death. Cohort studies identifying risk factors for concurrent bacteremia among patients with dengue are rare. 



We conducted a retrospective case–control study of adult patients with dengue who were admitted to the Department of Infectious Diseases at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore from 2004 to 2008. For each case of dengue with concurrent bacteremia (within the first 72 hours of admission), we selected four controls without bacteremia, who were matched on year of infection and dengue confirmation method. Conditional logistic regression was performed to identify risk factors for concurrent bacteremia. 



Among 9,553 patients with dengue, 29 (0.3%) had bacteremia. Eighteen of these patients (62.1%) had concurrent bacteremia. The predominant bacteria were Staphylococcus aureus, one of which was a methicillin-resistant strain. Dengue shock syndrome occurred more frequently and hospital stay was longer among cases than among controls. Three cases did not survive, whereas none of the controls died. In multivariate analysis, being critically ill at hospital presentation was independently associated with 15 times the likelihood of a patient with dengue having concurrent bacteremia.




Concurrent bacteremia in adult patients with dengue is uncommon but presents atypically and results in more deaths and longer hospital stay. Given the associated mortality, collection of blood cultures and empiric antibiotic therapy may be considered in patients who are critically ill. 


Key words:

Adult, Concurrent bacteremia, Dengue, Mortality, Severity, Singapore