A prospective study on dengue (DEN) viruses was initiated in October 1995 in Gondokusuman kecamatan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. This report presents data from the first year of the study. The studied cohort included all children 4-9 years of age living in the kecamatan. Blood samples for serology were collected from 1,837 children in October 1995 and again in October 1996. Blood samples for virus isolation and serology were collected from cohort children who were seen in municipal health clinics with febrile syndromes or admitted to hospitals with a provisional diagnosis of dengue hemorrhagic fever. Dengue serotype antibody prevalence and 1995-1996 infection rates were calculated using a single dilution (1:60) 70% plaque reduction endpoint neutralization test. Prevalence of dengue antibody at the beginning of the study was DEN 1 = 12%, DEN 2 = 16%, DEN 3 = 2%, DEN 4 = 4%, and two or more dengue infections = 22%. Total dengue antibody prevalence increased from 38% in 4-year-old children to 69% in 9-year-old children. During the observation period, primary dengue infection rates were DEN 1 = 4.8%, DEN 2 = 7.7%, DEN 3 = 4.2%, and DEN 4 = 3.4%, while two or more dengue infections occurred in 6.7% of the study population. The secondary dengue infection rate was 19.0%. From febrile cases, all four dengue viruses were isolated with DEN 3 predominating Seven children were hospitalized, including one fatal case with a hospital diagnosis of dengue shock syndrome. Based upon presence of antibody in the initial cohort bleeding and the serologic response both weeks and several months following illness, all had secondary dengue infections. Neutralizing antibody patterns in the initial cohort bleeding and in late convalescent serum samples permitted recognition of dengue infection sequence in five patients: DEN 2DEN 1 (3), DEN 2DEN 4 (1), DEN 1- DEN 3 (1), and none in the sequence DEN 1DEN 2. In the total cohort 6.5% of the observed secondary infections were of the sequence DEN 2DEN 1, while 4.9% were DEN 1DEN 2, a highly pathogenic sequence in previous studies. Reduced pathogenic expression of secondary DEN 2 with enhanced pathogenic expression of secondary DEN 1 infections was an unexpected finding. Further studies will be required to understand the respective contributions to pathogenicity of antibody from initial dengue infections versus the biological attributes of the second infecting dengue viruses.