Trinidad and Tobago Endangered Languages

Study Aims & Objectives:

  1. To determine the rate of dengue virus (DENV) infection among patients with suspected dengue disease (i.e. patients presenting with acute undifferentiated febrile illnesses [AUFI]) at selected healthcare institutions in T&T.
  2. To identify viruses associated with AUFI that cannot be attributed to DENV.
  3. To use the abovementioned to assess dengue diagnostic testing performed at the participating healthcare institutions and make recommendations for improvement where necessary.
  4. To  characterize the genetic diversity and evolution of DENV in T&T in a spatial context, in order to:
        • establish the origin of circulating strains and outbreaks,
        • determine the order and timing of transmission events,
        • identify epidemiologically linked locations within T&T and with the wider Americas,
        • estimate rates and patterns of viral dispersal (distance/time),
        • test for factors that may predict dispersal patterns and,
        • use the above to inform models of epidemiological spread.

Significance of the Study and Expected Impact:

  • Dengue diagnostics

Participating institutions will receive feedback regarding the performance of their dengue diagnostic testing that can be used to identify areas for improvement of services. The study findings in this area are also expected to be applicable, and related the interventions transferrable, to other (non-participating) healthcare institutions in Trinidad and Tobago.


  • Dengue surveillance and control

In addition to facilitating improved infectious disease diagnostics, this study will provide insights into emergence, dispersal and maintenance of DENV and thus has implications for monitoring, surveillance and control. Specifically, characterisation of dengue virus evolution and spatiotemporal distribution will allow identify hotspots,  and identification of factors underlying epidemic behaviour that may be used to make predictions about future outbreaks. Data on DENV distribution and dynamics in space and time are critical for determining financial requirements, setting a control agenda and for surveillance and monitoring, and can allow government ministries, public health institutions, healthcare workers and other researchers to prioritise and focus their efforts.


  • Capacity for infectious disease research

The study will serve to build the capacity for infectious disease research as well as increase the profile of research in Trinidad and Tobago.