Four primer pairs were selected on the basis of the published sequence data of four dengue virus serotypes so that each unique target sequence size could be amplified for each serotype by polymerase chain reaction. The procedure consists of (i) RNA preparation, (ii) reverse transcription, and (iii) polymerase chain reaction, all of which could be completed within 2 h in a single tube for each specimen. The amplified sequence size revealed by ethidium bromide-stained agarose gel electrophoresis was unique for each serotype, using infected culture fluid of isolates from dengue fever or dengue hemorrhagic fever patients in Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines as well as from prototype viruses, thus facilitating simultaneous identification and typing.
The severe complications of dengue virus infections, hemorrhagic manifestation and shock, are much more commonly observed during secondary infections caused by a different serotype of dengue virus than that which caused the primary infections. It has been speculated, therefore, that dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS) are caused by serotype crossreactive immunopathological mechanisms. We analyzed clones of dengue serotype crossreactive T lymphocytes derived from the PBMC of a donor who had been infected with dengue 3 virus. These PBMC responded best to dengue 3 antigen, but also responded to dengue 1, 2, and 4 antigens, in bulk culture proliferation assays. 12 dengue antigen-specific clones were established using a limiting dilution technique. All of the clones had CD3+ CD4+ CD8 phenotypes. Eight clones responded to dengue 1, 2, 3, and 4 antigens and are crossreactive, while four other clones responded predominantly to dengue 3 antigen. These results indicate that the serotype crossreactive dengue-specific T lymphocyte proliferation observed in bulk cultures reflects the crossreactive responses detected at the clonal level. Serotype crossreactive clones produced high titers of IFN- gamma after stimulation with dengue 3 antigens, and also produced IFN- gamma to lower levels after stimulation with dengue 1, 2, and 4 antigens. The crossreactive clones lysed autologous lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL) pulsed with dengue antigens, and the crossreactivity of CTL lysis by T cell clones was consistent with the crossreactivity observed in proliferation assays. Epidemiological studies have shown that secondary infections with dengue 2 virus cause DHF/DSS at a higher rate than the other serotypes. We hypothesized that the lysis of dengue virus-infected cells by CTL may lead to DHF/DSS; therefore, the clones were examined for cytotoxic activity against dengue 2 virus-infected LCL. All but one of the serotype crossreactive clones lysed dengue 2 virus-infected autologous LCL, and they did not lyse uninfected autologous LCL. The lysis of dengue antigen-pulsed or virus-infected LCL by the crossreactive CTL clones that we have examined is restricted by HLA DP or DQ antigens. These results indicate that primary dengue virus infections induce predominantly crossreactive memory CD4+ T lymphocytes. These crossreactive T lymphocytes proliferate and produce IFN-gamma after stimulation with a virus strain of another serotype, and demonstrate crossreactive cyotoxic activity against autologous cells infected with heterologous dengue viruses.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
Stimulation with live dengue virus of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from a dengue virus type 4-immune donor generated virus-specific, serotype-cross-reactive, CD8+, class I-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) capable of lysing dengue virus-infected cells and cells pulsed with dengue virus antigens of all four serotypes. These CTL lysed autologous fibroblasts infected with vaccinia virus-dengue virus recombinant viruses containing the E gene or several nonstructural dengue virus type 4 genes. These results demonstrate that both dengue virus structural and nonstructural proteins are targets for the cytotoxic T-cell-mediated immune response to dengue virus and suggest that serotype-cross-reactive CD8+ CTL may be important mediators of viral clearance and of virus-induced immunopathology during secondary dengue virus infections.
Co-circulation of multiple dengue virus serotypes has been reported from many parts of the world including India, however concurrent infection with more than one serotype of dengue viruses in the same individual is rarely documented. An outbreak of dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS) occurred in and around Delhi in 2006. This is the first report from India with high percentage of concurrent infections with different dengue virus serotypes circulating during one outbreak.
Acute phase sera from patients were tested for the presence of dengue virus RNA by RT-PCR assay. Of the 69 samples tested for dengue virus RNA, 48 (69.5%) were found to be positive. All the four dengue virus serotypes were found to be co-circulating in this outbreak with DENV-3 being the predominant serotype. In addition in 9 of 48 (19%) dengue virus positive samples, concurrent infection with more than one dengue virus serotype were identified.
This is the first report in which concurrent infections with different dengue virus serotypes is being reported during an outbreak from India. Delhi is now truly hyperendemic for dengue.
Dengue virus infection is a serious health problem infecting 2.5 billion people worldwide. Dengue is now endemic in more than 100 countries, including Pakistan. Each year hundreds of people get infected with dengue in Pakistan. Currently, there is no vaccine available for the prevention of Dengue virus infection due to four viral serotypes. Dengue infection can cause death of patients in its most severity, meanwhile many antiviral compounds are being tested against dengue virus infection to eradicate this disease but still there is a need to develop an efficient, low-cost and safe vaccine that can target all the four serotypes of dengue virus. This review summarizes dengue molecular virology, important drug targets, prevalence in Pakistan, diagnosis, treatment and medicinal plant inhibitors against dengue.
Dengue virus; NS3 protease; Diagnosis; Medicinal plants; Prevalence
Nearly a third of the human population is at risk of infection with the four serotypes of dengue viruses, and it is estimated that more than 100 million infections occur each year. A licensed vaccine for dengue viruses has become a global health priority. A major challenge to developing a dengue vaccine is the necessity to produce fairly uniform protective immune responses to all four dengue virus serotypes. We have developed two bivalent dengue virus vaccines, using a complex adenovirus vector, by incorporating the genes expressing premembrane (prM) and envelope (E) proteins of dengue virus types 1 and 2 (dengue-1 and -2, respectively) (CAdVax-Den12) or dengue-3 and -4 (CAdVax-Den34). Rhesus macaques were vaccinated by intramuscular inoculation of a tetravalent dengue vaccine formulated by combining the two bivalent vaccine constructs. Vaccinated animals produced high-titer antibodies that neutralized all four serotypes of dengue viruses in vitro. The ability of the vaccine to induce rapid, as well as sustained, protective immune responses was examined with two separate live-virus challenges administered at 4 and 24 weeks after the final vaccination. For both of these virus challenge studies, significant protection from viremia was demonstrated for all four dengue virus serotypes in vaccinated animals. Viremia from dengue-1 and dengue-3 challenges was completely blocked, whereas viremia from dengue-2 and dengue-4 was significantly reduced, as well as delayed, compared to that of control-vaccinated animals. These results demonstrate that the tetravalent dengue vaccine formulation provides significant protection in rhesus macaques against challenge with all four dengue virus serotypes.
A dengue plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) to measure dengue serotype–specific neutralizing antibodies for all four virus serotypes was developed, optimized, and validated in accordance with guidelines for validation of bioanalytical test methods using human serum samples from dengue-infected persons and persons receiving a dengue vaccine candidate. Production and characterization of dengue challenge viruses used in the assay was standardized. Once virus stocks were characterized, the dengue PRNT50 for each of the four serotypes was optimized according to a factorial design of experiments approach for critical test parameters, including days of cell seeding before testing, percentage of overlay carboxymethylcellulose medium, and days of incubation post-infection to generate a robust assay. The PRNT50 was then validated and demonstrated to be suitable to detect and measure dengue serotype-specific neutralizing antibodies in human serum samples with acceptable intra-assay and inter-assay precision, accuracy/dilutability, specificity, and with a lower limit of quantitation of 10.
Dengue outbreaks and epidemics have been reported in all regions of Africa, and it is believed that all four dengue virus serotypes are in circulation. Available data suggest that dengue is endemic to 34 African countries and that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes – the primary vector for dengue transmission – are known to be present in all but five countries. Whether populations in Africa are susceptible to dengue at the same rates as in Asia and Latin America is difficult to determine from the available data. Several factors may affect the transmission of dengue in Africa, including vector efficiency, viral infectivity, host vulnerability and environmental factors, such as increasing urbanisation. Current dengue prevention strategies in Africa focus on vector control, although the primary aim of such efforts is typically the prevention of malaria. Further research is needed to characterise the epidemiology of dengue in Africa and to better understand the factors involved in differences in vulnerability to dengue across Africa.
Dengue; Africa; Epidemic; Epidemiology; Race
A severe complication of dengue virus infection, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), is hypothesized to be immunologically mediated and virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) may trigger DHF. It is also likely that dengue virus-specific CTLs are important for recovery from dengue virus infections. There is little available information on the human CD8+ T cell responses to dengue viruses. Memory CD8+CTL responses were analyzed to determine the diversity of the T cell response to dengue virus and to identify immunodominant proteins using PBMC from eight healthy adult volunteers who had received monovalent, live-attenuated candidate vaccines of the four dengue serotypes. All the donors had specific T cell proliferation to dengue and to other flaviviruses that we tested. CTLs were generated from the stimulated PBMC of all donors, and in the seven donors tested, dengue virus-specific CD8+CTL activity was demonstrated. The nonstructural (NS3 and NS1.2a) and envelope (E) proteins were recognized by CD8+CTLs from six, five, and three donors, respectively. All donors recognized either NS3 or NS1.2a. In one donor who received a dengue 4 vaccine, CTL killing was seen in bulk culture against the premembrane protein (prM). This is the first demonstration of a CTL response against the prM protein. The CTL responses using the PBMC of two donors were serotype specific, whereas all other donors had serotype-cross-reactive responses. For one donor, CTLs specific for E, NS1.2a, and NS3 proteins were all HLA-B44 restricted. For three other donors tested, the potential restricting alleles for recognition of NS3 were B38, A24, and/or B62 and B35.These results indicate that the CD8+CTL responses of humans after immunization with one serotype of dengue virus are diverse and directed against a variety of proteins. The NS3 and NS1.2a proteins should be considered when designing subunit vaccines for dengue.
The evolution of dengue viruses has resulted in four antigenically similar yet distinct serotypes. Infection with one serotype likely elicits lifelong immunity to that serotype, but generally not against the other three. Secondary or sequential infections are common, as multiple viral serotypes frequently cocirculate. Dengue infection, although frequently mild, can lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) which can be life threatening. DHF is more common in secondary dengue infections, implying a role for the adaptive immune response in the disease. There is currently much effort toward the design and implementation of a dengue vaccine but these efforts are made more difficult by the challenge of inducing durable neutralizing immunity to all four viruses. Domain 3 of the dengue virus envelope protein (ED3) has been suggested as one such candidate because it contains neutralizing epitopes and it was originally thought that relatively few cross-reactive antibodies are directed to this domain. In this study, we performed a detailed analysis of the anti-ED3 response in a cohort of patients suffering either primary or secondary dengue infections. The results show dramatic evidence of original antigenic sin in secondary infections both in terms of binding and enhancement activity. This has important implications for dengue vaccine design because heterologous boosting is likely to maintain the immunological footprint of the first vaccination. On the basis of these findings, we propose a simple in vitro enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to diagnose the original dengue infection in secondary dengue cases.
The identification of the protein targets for dengue virus-specific T lymphocytes may be useful for planning the development of subunit vaccines against dengue. We studied the recognition by murine dengue virus-specific major histocompatibility complex class I-restricted, CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) of dengue virus proteins using recombinant vaccinia viruses containing segments of the dengue virus genome. CTL from H-2k mice recognized a single serotype-cross-reactive epitope on the nonstructural (NS) protein NS3. CTL from H-2b mice recognized a serotype-cross-reactive epitope that was localized to NS4a or NS4b. CTL from H-2d mice recognized at least three epitopes: a serotype-specific epitope on one of the structural proteins, a serotype-cross-reactive epitope on NS3, and a serotype-cross-reactive epitope on NS1 or NS2a. Our findings demonstrate the limited recognition of dengue virus proteins by CTL from three inbred mouse strains and the predominance of CTL epitopes on dengue virus nonstructural proteins, particularly NS3. Since human dengue virus-specific CTL show similar patterns of recognition, these findings suggest that nonstructural proteins should be considered in designing vaccines against dengue.
Dengue is one of the most important mosquito-borne viral illnesses. The first DHF outbreak was reported from the Philippines in 1953. Initially it was endemic only in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific regions. After about 50 years from the first outbreak, it spread globally to almost every continent including North and South America, Australia and Africa. The majority of cases during the 50s to 80s were children, but today the disease affects both children and adults of all age groups. The disease is caused by dengue viruses that have four serotypes: dengue 1, dengue 2, dengue 3 and dengue 4. Primary infection usually results in milder illness, while more severe disease occurs in cases of repeated infection with different serotypes. In this paper clinical manifestations and management of dengue/DHF/DSS are summarized.
dengue; clinical manifestations; early diagnosis; case management
Dengue is a major public health problem worldwide, especially in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Infection with a single Dengue virus (DENV) serotype causes a mild, self-limiting febrile illness called dengue fever. However, a subset of patients experiencing secondary infection with a different serotype progresses to the severe form of the disease, dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome. Currently, there are no licensed vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat dengue infections. Biodegradable nanoparticles coated with proteins represent a promising method for in vivo delivery of vaccines.
Here, we used a murine model to evaluate the IgG production after administration of inactivated DENV corresponding to all four serotypes adsorbed to bovine serum albumin nanoparticles. This formulation induced a production of anti-DENV IgG antibodies (p < 0.001). However, plaque reduction neutralization assays with the four DENV serotypes revealed that these antibodies have no neutralizing activity in the dilutions tested.
Our results show that while the nanoparticle system induces humoral responses against DENV, further investigation with different DENV antigens will be required to improve immunogenicity, epitope specicity, and functional activity to make this platform a viable option for DENV vaccines.
inactivated Dengue vírus; Nanoparticles; humoral response
Dengue virus infections are still increasing at an alarming rate in tropical and subtropical countries underlying the need for a dengue vaccine. Although it is relatively easy to generate antibody responses to dengue virus, low avidity or low concentrations of antibody may enhance infection of Fc receptor-bearing cells with clinical impact, posing a challenge to vaccine production. In this paper we report the characterization of a monoclonal antibody, 2H12, which is cross-reactive to all four serotypes in the dengue virus group. Crystal structures of 2H12-Fab in complex with domain III of the envelope protein from three dengue serotypes have been determined. 2H12 binds to the highly conserved AB loop of domain III of the envelope protein that is poorly accessible in the mature virion. 2H12 neutralization varied between dengue serotypes and strains; in particular, dengue serotype 2 was not neutralized. As the 2H12 binding epitope was conserved, this variation in neutralization highlights differences between dengue serotypes and suggests that significant conformational changes in the virus must take place for antibody binding. Surprisingly, 2H12 facilitated little or no enhancement of infection. These data provide a structural basis for understanding antibody neutralization and enhancement of infection, which is crucial for the development of future dengue vaccines.
Background & objectives:
Dengue is an important arboviral disease. All four dengue virus serotypes are reported to be circulating in India. It is also known that different serotypes, genotypes and clades of genotype determine outbreak severity. Dengue affected children are known to have serious disease outcome. We carried out this study to give reliable diagnosis of dengue infection in children and to detect circulating serotype in central India.
Samples collected from paediatric patients suspected to have dengue fever were subjected to IgM and IgG ELISA to determine dengue virus infection. Samples collected within 0-5 days of onset of illness and positive by IgM ELISA were tested by nested reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (nRT-PCR). The PCR products were sequenced and analyzed.
Of the 89 samples tested, 18 and 7 were positive for dengue IgM and IgG, respectively. Dengue activity was observed in both Jabalpur city and adjoining rural settings. One sample found positive by nRT-PCR was further sequenced to confirm dengue virus 4 as aetiological agent.
Interpretation & conclusions:
Our findings demonstrated dengue virus infection in children and adolescent in central India. Because of continuous changing epidemiology, it is important to monitor dengue virus activity at both serological and molecular level in this part of the country for better patient care and management.
Central India; dengue; dengue virus type 4; IgG IgM ELISA; paediatric patients
In 2001, Myanmar (Burma) had its largest outbreak of dengue—15,361 reported cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS), including 192 deaths. That year, 95% of dengue viruses isolated from patients were serotype 1 viruses belonging to two lineages that had diverged from an earlier, now extinct, lineage sometime before 1998. The ratio of DHF to DSS cases in 2001 was not significantly different from that in 2000, when 1,816 cases of DHF/DSS were reported and dengue 1 also was the most frequently isolated serotype. However, the 2001 ratio was significantly higher than that in 1998 (also an outbreak year) and in 1999, when all four serotypes were detected and serotypes 1, 2, and 3 were recovered in similar numbers. The large number of clinical cases in 2001 may have been due, in part, to a preponderance of infections with dengue 1 viruses.
Dengue virus; dengue hemorrhagic fever; Myanmar; dengue phylogeny
Dengue virus infections can cause hemorrhagic fever, shock, encephalitis, and even death. Worldwide, approximately 2.5 billion people live in dengue-infested regions with about 100 million new cases each year, although many of these infections are believed to be silent. There are four antigenically distinct serotypes of dengue virus; thus, immunity from one serotype will not cross-protect from infection with the other three. The difficulties that hamper vaccine development include requirements of the natural conformation of the envelope glycoprotein to induce neutralizing immune responses and the necessity of presenting antigens of all four serotypes. Currently, the only way to meet these requirements is to use a mixture of four serotypes of live attenuated dengue viruses, but safety remains a major problem. In this study, we have developed the basis for a tetravalent dengue vaccine using a novel complex adenovirus platform that is capable of expressing multiple antigens de novo. This dengue vaccine is constructed as a pair of vectors that each expresses the premembrane and envelope genes of two different dengue virus serotypes. Upon vaccination, the vaccine expressed high levels of the dengue virus antigens in cells to mimic a natural infection and induced both humoral and cellular immune responses against multiple serotypes of dengue virus in an animal model. Further analyses show the humoral responses were indeed neutralizing against all four serotypes. Our studies demonstrate the concept of mimicking infections to induce immune responses by synthesizing dengue virus membrane antigens de novo and the feasibility of developing an effective tetravalent dengue vaccine by vector-mediated expression of glycoproteins of the four serotypes.
The dengue (DEN) viruses are positive-strand RNA viruses in the genus Flavivirus. Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome are important human arboviral diseases caused by infection with one of four closely related but serologically distinct DEN viruses, designated DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4 viruses. All four DEN serotypes are currently cocirculating throughout the subtropics and tropics, and genotypic variation occurs among isolates within a serotype. A real-time quantitative nucleic acid amplification assay has been developed to detect viral RNA of a single DEN virus serotype. Each primer-probe set is DEN serotype specific, yet detects all genotypes in a panel of 7 to 10 representative isolates of a serotype. In single reactions and in fourplex reactions (containing four primer-probe sets in a single reaction mixture), standard dilutions of virus equivalent to 0.002 PFU of DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4 viruses were detected; the limit of detection of DEN-1 virus was 0.5 equivalent PFU. Singleplex and fourplex reactions were evaluated in a panel of 40 viremic serum specimens with 10 specimens per serotype, containing 0.002 to 6,000 equivalent PFU/reaction (0.4 to 1.2 × 106 PFU/ml). Viral RNA was detected in all viremic serum specimens in singleplex and fourplex reactions. Thus, this serotype-specific, fourplex real-time reverse transcriptase PCR nucleic acid detection assay can be used as a method for differential diagnosis of a specific DEN serotype in viremic dengue patients and as a tool for rapid identification and serotyping of DEN virus isolates.
Chemical and physical variables influencing the plaquing of all dengue serotypes in two simian cell systems were studied. Calf serum in the nutrient overlay may be replaced by mouse ascitic fluid or bovine plasma albumin when employing the rhesus monkey kidney LLC-MK2 cell system for plaquing all dengue serotypes. Doubling the serum concentration in the overlay had little effect in modifying dengue types 1, 2, 3, and 4 plaque titers. Newborn agamma, 4-week-old and 8-week-old calf serum gave comparable titers with all dengue virus serotypes. Dengue virus titers, plaque size, and development time were unaffected by sodium bicarbonate concentrations ranging from 1.1 to 4.4 mg/ml of overlay. A twofold increase (0.00332 g%) in the amount of either autoclaved or filtered-sterilized neutral red reduced the dengue 2 virus titer as much as 2.2 logs. An increased Mg++ and decreased Ca++ concentration in the overlay medium increased the efficiency of the plaquing system.
To protect against dengue viral infection, a novel lipidated dengue subunit vaccine was rationally designed to contain the consensus amino acid sequences derived from four serotypes of dengue viruses. We found that the lipidated consensus dengue virus envelope protein domain III (LcED III) is capable of activating antigen-presenting cells and enhancing cellular and humoral immune responses. A single-dose of LcED III immunization in mice without extra adjuvant formulation is sufficient to elicit neutralizing antibodies against all four serotypes of dengue viruses. In addition, strong memory responses were elicited in mice immunized with a single-dose of LcED III. Quick, anamnestic neutralizing antibody responses to a live dengue virus challenge were elicited at week 28 post-immunization. These results demonstrate the promising possibility of a future successful tetravalent vaccine against dengue viral infections that utilizes one-dose vaccination with LcED III.
Dengue has become the most important arboviral infection worldwide with more than 30 million cases of dengue fever estimated to occur each year. The need for a dengue vaccine is great and several live attenuated dengue candidate vaccines are proceeding through clinical evaluation. The need to induce a balanced immune response against all four DENV serotypes with a single vaccine has been a challenge for dengue vaccine developers. A live attenuated DENV chimeric vaccine produced by Sanofi Pasteur has recently entered Phase III evaluation in numerous dengue-endemic regions of the world. Viral interference between serotypes contained in live vaccines has required up to three doses of the vaccine be given over a 12-month period of time. For this reason, novel DENV candidate vaccines are being developed with the goal of achieving a protective immune response with an immunization schedule that can be given over the course of a few months. These next-generation candidates include DNA vaccines, recombinant adenovirus vectored vaccines, alphavirus replicons, and sub-unit protein vaccines. Several of these novel candidates will be discussed.
Dengue vaccine; DNA vaccine; vectored-vaccine; sub-unit protein vaccine
Serologically defined primary dengue virus infection and/or subsequent homologous serotype infection is known to be associated with less severe disease as compared with secondary subsequent heterologous serotype infection. In geographical locales of high dengue endemicity, almost all individuals in the population are infected at some point in time and should therefore are at high risk of secondary infection. Interestingly, dengue viremia in healthy blood donors whose sera apparently lack detectable levels of specific antibody to dengue viral antigens has been reported. The incidence rate of potential immunologic hypo- or non-responders following natural primary dengue virus infection in dengue endemic regions, who do become immune responders only after repeated exposure, has not been described. These are the patients who may be diagnosed as primary infection in the subsequent infection, but actually are secondary infection. This concept has important implications with regards to the hypothesis of immunological enhancement of dengue pathogenesis, which has largely been advanced based on empirical observations and/or from in vitro experimental assays. The fact that dengue naïve travelers can suffer from severe dengue upon primary exposure while visiting dengue endemic countries underscores one of the major problems in explaining the role of immune enhancement in the pathogenesis of severe dengue virus infection. This evidence suggests that the mechanism(s) leading to severe dengue may not be associated with pre-existing enhancing antibody. Consequently, we propose a new paradigm for dengue virus infection classification. These include a) patients with naïve primary infection, b) those that are serologically defined primary in dengue endemic zones and c) those who are serologically defined secondary dengue virus infection. We submit that clarity with regards to such definitions may help facilitate the delineation of the potential mechanisms of severe dengue virus infection.
Nonresponder; Naïve; Flavivirus; Dengue fever; DHF
Faster techniques are needed for the early diagnosis of dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever during the acute viremic phase of infection. An isothermal nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA) assay was optimized to amplify viral RNA of all four dengue virus serotypes by a set of universal primers and to type the amplified products by serotype-specific capture probes. The NASBA assay involved the use of silica to extract viral nucleic acid, which was amplified without thermocycling. The amplified product was detected by a probe-hybridization method that utilized electrochemiluminescence. Using normal human plasma spiked with dengue viruses, the NASBA assay had a detection threshold of 1 to 10 PFU/ml. The sensitivity and specificity of the assay were determined by testing 67 dengue virus-positive and 21 dengue virus-negative human serum or plasma samples. The “gold standard” used for comparison and evaluation was the mosquito C6/36 cell culture assay followed by an immunofluorescent assay. Viral infectivity titers in test samples were also determined by a direct plaque assay in Vero cells. The NASBA assay was able to detect dengue viral RNA in the clinical samples at plaque titers below 25 PFU/ml (the detection limit of the plaque assay). Of the 67 samples found positive by the C6/36 assay, 66 were found positive by the NASBA assay, for a sensitivity of 98.5%. The NASBA assay had a specificity of 100% based on the negative test results for the 21 normal human serum or plasma samples. These results indicate that the NASBA assay is a promising assay for the early diagnosis of dengue infections.
Dengue viruses circulate in both human and sylvatic cycles. Although dengue viruses (DENV) infecting humans can cause major epidemics and severe disease, relatively little is known about the epidemiology and etiology of sylvatic dengue viruses. A 20-year-old male developed dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) with thrombocytopenia (12,000/ul) and a raised hematocrit (29.5% above baseline) in January 2008 in Malaysia. Dengue virus serotype 2 was isolated from his blood on day 4 of fever. A phylogenetic analysis of the complete genome sequence revealed that this virus was a member of a sylvatic lineage of DENV-2 and most closely related to a virus isolated from a sentinel monkey in Malaysia in 1970. This is the first identification of a sylvatic DENV circulating in Asia since 1975.
Dengue viruses are mosquito-borne RNA viruses that cause a spectrum of illness from mild disease to life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). Dengue viruses exist in two separate cycles in nature, circulating in either non-human primates or humans. The viruses that are endemic in humans today most likely evolved from non-human primate dengue viruses a few hundred years ago and have since established themselves as four distinct serotypes in human populations, causing periodic epidemics and severe disease. During the course of routine surveillance for dengue transmission in Malaysia during 2008, a sylvatic dengue virus type 2 was isolated from a young human male with DHF. The complete genome sequence of the virus was determined and found to be closely related to that isolated from a monkey in a similar region of Malaysia in 1970. This is the first sylvatic dengue virus isolated in Asia for more than 30 years.
Virus detection methodology provides detection of dengue virus in the early phase of the disease. PCR, targeting cDNA derived from viral RNA, has been used as a laboratory-based molecular tool for the detection of Dengue virus. We report the development and use of three real-time one-step reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) assays to detect dengue cases and serotype the virus involved. The first RT-PCR assay uses SYBR green I as the reporting dye for the purpose of cost-effective screening for dengue virus. The detection limit of the SYBR green I assay was 10 PFU/ml (0.01 equivalent PFU per assay) for all four dengue virus serotypes. The second RT-PCR assay is a duplex fluorogenic probe-based real-time RT-PCR for serotyping clinical samples for dengue viruses. The detection threshold of the probe-based RT-PCR format was 0.1 PFU for serotypes Dengue-1 and Dengue-2, 1 PFU for serotype Dengue-3, and 0.01 PFU for serotype Dengue-4. The third is a fourplex assay that detects any of the four serotypes in a single closed tube with comparable sensitivity. Validation of the assays with local clinical samples collected from 2004 to 2006 revealed that there was an 88% positive correlation between virus isolation and RT-PCR with regard to dengue virus detection and a 100% correlation with seroconversion in subsequent samples. The serotyping results derived from duplex and fourplex assays agree fully with each other and with that derived from immunofluorescence assays.