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1.  Endothelial Cells Elicit Immune-Enhancing Responses to Dengue Virus Infection 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(12):6408-6415.
Dengue viruses cause two severe diseases that alter vascular fluid barrier functions, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Preexisting antibodies to dengue virus disposes patients to immune-enhanced edema (DSS) or hemorrhagic (DHF) disease following infection by a discrete dengue virus serotype. Although the endothelium is the primary vascular fluid barrier, direct effects of dengue virus on endothelial cells (ECs) have not been considered primary factors in pathogenesis. Here, we show that dengue virus infection of human ECs elicits immune-enhancing EC responses. Our results suggest that rapid early dengue virus proliferation within ECs is permitted by dengue virus regulation of early, but not late, beta interferon (IFN-β) responses. The analysis of EC responses following synchronous dengue virus infection revealed the high-level induction and secretion of immune cells (T cells, B cells, and mast cells) as well as activating and recruiting cytokines BAFF (119-fold), IL-6/8 (4- to 7-fold), CXCL9/10/11 (45- to 338-fold), RANTES (724-fold), and interleukin-7 (IL-7; 128-fold). Moreover, we found that properdin factor B, an alternative pathway complement activator that directs chemotactic anaphylatoxin C3a and C5a production, was induced 34-fold. Thus, dengue virus-infected ECs evoke key inflammatory responses observed in dengue virus patients which are linked to DHF and DSS. Our findings suggest that dengue virus-infected ECs directly contribute to immune enhancement, capillary permeability, viremia, and immune targeting of the endothelium. These data implicate EC responses in dengue virus pathogenesis and further rationalize therapeutic targeting of the endothelium as a means of reducing the severity of dengue virus disease.
doi:10.1128/JVI.00213-12
PMCID: PMC3393559  PMID: 22496214
2.  Productive Dengue Virus Infection of Human Endothelial Cells Is Directed by Heparan Sulfate-Containing Proteoglycan Receptors ▿ 
Journal of Virology  2011;85(18):9478-9485.
Dengue virus causes leakage of the vascular endothelium, resulting in dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. The endothelial cell lining of the vasculature regulates capillary permeability and is altered by immune and chemokine responses which affect fluid barrier functions of the endothelium. Our findings indicate that human endothelial cells are highly susceptible to infection by dengue virus (type 4). We found that dengue virus productively infects ∼80% of primary human endothelial cells, resulting in the rapid release of ∼105 virions 1 day postinfection. Analysis of potential inhibitors of dengue virus entry demonstrated that antibodies and ligands to integrins and cellular receptors were unable to inhibit dengue virus infection of endothelial cells. In contrast, pretreating cells with heparin or heparan sulfate resulted in a 60 to 80% reduction in dengue virus-infected cells, and pretreatment of endothelial cells with heparinase III or protease reduced dengue infectivity by >80%. Dengue virus bound specifically to resin immobilized heparin, and binding was competitively inhibited by excess heparin but not other ligands. Collectively, these findings suggest that dengue virus specifically attaches to heparan sulfate-containing proteoglycan receptors on endothelial cells. Following attachment to human endothelial cell receptors, dengue virus causes a highly productive infection that has the potential to increase viral dissemination and viremia. This provides the potential for dengue virus-infected endothelial cells to directly alter barrier functions of the endothelium, contribute to enhancement of immune cell activation, and serve as potential targets of immune responses which play a central role in dengue pathogenesis.
doi:10.1128/JVI.05008-11
PMCID: PMC3165770  PMID: 21734047
3.  The Impact of the Demographic Transition on Dengue in Thailand: Insights from a Statistical Analysis and Mathematical Modeling 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(9):e1000139.
Analyzing data from Thailand's 72 provinces, Derek Cummings and colleagues find that decreases in birth and death rates can explain the shift in age distribution of dengue hemorrhagic fever.
Background
An increase in the average age of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) cases has been reported in Thailand. The cause of this increase is not known. Possible explanations include a reduction in transmission due to declining mosquito populations, declining contact between human and mosquito, and changes in reporting. We propose that a demographic shift toward lower birth and death rates has reduced dengue transmission and lengthened the interval between large epidemics.
Methods and Findings
Using data from each of the 72 provinces of Thailand, we looked for associations between force of infection (a measure of hazard, defined as the rate per capita at which susceptible individuals become infected) and demographic and climactic variables. We estimated the force of infection from the age distribution of cases from 1985 to 2005. We find that the force of infection has declined by 2% each year since a peak in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Contrary to recent findings suggesting that the incidence of DHF has increased in Thailand, we find a small but statistically significant decline in DHF incidence since 1985 in a majority of provinces. The strongest predictor of the change in force of infection and the mean force of infection is the median age of the population. Using mathematical simulations of dengue transmission we show that a reduced birth rate and a shift in the population's age structure can explain the shift in the age distribution of cases, reduction of the force of infection, and increase in the periodicity of multiannual oscillations of DHF incidence in the absence of other changes.
Conclusions
Lower birth and death rates decrease the flow of susceptible individuals into the population and increase the longevity of immune individuals. The increase in the proportion of the population that is immune increases the likelihood that an infectious mosquito will feed on an immune individual, reducing the force of infection. Though the force of infection has decreased by half, we find that the critical vaccination fraction has not changed significantly, declining from an average of 85% to 80%. Clinical guidelines should consider the impact of continued increases in the age of dengue cases in Thailand. Countries in the region lagging behind Thailand in the demographic transition may experience the same increase as their population ages. The impact of demographic changes on the force of infection has been hypothesized for other diseases, but, to our knowledge, this is the first observation of this phenomenon.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every year, dengue infects 50–100 million people living in tropical and subtropical areas. The four closely related viruses that cause dengue are transmitted to people through the bites of female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which acquire dengue virus by feeding on the blood of an infected person. Although some people who become infected with dengue virus have no symptoms, many develop dengue fever, a severe, flu-like illness that lasts for a few days. Other people—more than half a million a year—develop dengue hemorrhagic fever, which causes bleeding from the gums and nose and bruising, or dengue shock syndrome in which circulatory failure also occurs. Both these potentially fatal conditions are associated with sequential infections with dengue virus—nonfatal infection with dengue virus of one type provides lifelong immunity against that type but only temporary protection against infection with dengue viruses of other types. There is no vaccine to prevent dengue and no specific treatment for the disease. However, standard medical care—in particular, replacement of lost fluids—can prevent most deaths from dengue.
Why Was This Study Done?
Historically, dengue has mainly affected young children but, recently, its age distribution has shifted towards older age groups in several Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand. In addition, the interval between large increases in incidence (epidemics) of dengue hemorrhagic fever has lengthened. It is important to know why these changes are happening because they could affect how dengue infections are dealt with in these countries. One idea is that an ongoing shift towards lower birth and death rates (the demographic transition; this occurs as countries move from a pre-industrial to an industrial economy) is reducing dengue transmission rates by reducing the “force of infection” (the rate at which susceptible individuals become infected). As birth and death rates decline, immune individuals account for more of the population so mosquitoes are more likely to bite an immune individual, which reduces the force of infection. Similarly, because susceptible individuals enter the population by being born, changing the birth rate alters the interval between epidemics. In this study, the researchers test whether the demographic transition might be responsible for the changing pattern of dengue infection in Thailand.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers retrieved data on dengue infection, demographic data (the population's age structure and birth and death rates), socioeconomic data, and climatic data for Thailand from 1980 to 2005 from various sources. They then fitted the data on dengue cases to several mathematical models to estimate the force of infection for each year. This analysis suggested that the force of infection has declined by 2% every year since the early1980s. Next, the researchers used statistical methods to show that the strongest predictor of this decline is the increase in the median age of the population (a measure of the average age of the population). Finally, using mathematical simulations of dengue transmission, they showed that a reduced birth rate and a shift in the population's age structure are sufficient to explain the recent shift in the age distribution of dengue cases, the reduction of the force of infection, and the increased interval between epidemics of dengue hemorrhagic fever.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The findings of all modeling studies depend on how the mathematical models are built and the accuracy of the data fed into them. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that recent changes in birth and death rates in Thailand are sufficient to produce the observed changes in the age distribution of dengue and periodicity of dengue outbreaks. One implication of these findings is that other countries in Southeast Asia that follow Thailand in the demographic transition may experience similar shifts in the pattern of dengue infections as the age structure of their populations changes. This means that clinical guidelines for the management of dengue infections in Southeast Asia will need to be adjusted to allow for the increasing age of dengue cases. Finally, although the researchers' calculations show the force of infection has fallen substantially over the past two decades, they also show that when a dengue vaccine becomes available, it will still be necessary to vaccinate most of the population to halt dengue transmission.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000139
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Cameron Simmons and Jeremy Farrar
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides detailed information about dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever (in English and Spanish)
The World Health Organization provides information about dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever around the world (in several languages) and detailed information about dengue in Southeast Asia
Links to additional information about dengue are provided by MedlinePlus (in English and Spanish)
Wikipedia has a page about the demographic transition (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000139
PMCID: PMC2726436  PMID: 19721696
4.  A Prospective Nested Case-Control Study of Dengue in Infants: Rethinking and Refining the Antibody-Dependent Enhancement Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Model 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(10):e1000171.
Analyses of a prospective case-control study of infant dengue by Daniel Libraty and colleagues casts doubt on the antibody-dependent enhancement model for dengue hemorrhagic fever.
Background
Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) is the severe and life-threatening syndrome that can develop after infection with any one of the four dengue virus (DENV) serotypes. DHF occurs almost exclusively in individuals with secondary heterologous DENV infections and infants with primary DENV infections born to dengue immune mothers. The widely accepted explanation for the pathogenesis of DHF in these settings, particularly during infancy, is antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of DENV infection.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a prospective nested case-control study of DENV infections during infancy. Clinical data and blood samples were collected from 4,441 mothers and infants in up to two pre-illness study visits, and surveillance was performed for symptomatic and inapparent DENV infections. Pre-illness plasma samples were used to measure the associations between maternally derived anti-DENV3 antibody-neutralizing and -enhancing capacities at the time of DENV3 infection and development of infant DHF.
The study captured 60 infants with DENV infections across a wide spectrum of disease severity. DENV3 was the predominant serotype among the infants with symptomatic (35/40) and inapparent (15/20) DENV infections, and 59/60 infants had a primary DENV infection. The estimated in vitro anti-DENV3 neutralizing capacity at birth positively correlated with the age of symptomatic primary DENV3 illness in infants. At the time of symptomatic DENV3 infection, essentially all infants had low anti-DENV3 neutralizing activity (50% plaque reduction neutralizing titers [PRNT50] ≤50) and measurable DENV3 ADE activity. The infants who developed DHF did not have significantly higher frequencies or levels of DENV3 ADE activity compared to symptomatic infants without DHF. A higher weight-for-age in the first 3 mo of life and at illness presentation was associated with a greater risk for DHF from a primary DENV infection during infancy.
Conclusions
This prospective nested case-control study of primarily DENV3 infections during infancy has shown that infants exhibit a full range of disease severity after primary DENV infections. The results support an initial in vivo protective role for maternally derived antibody, and suggest that a DENV3 PRNT50 >50 is associated with protection from symptomatic DENV3 illness. We did not find a significant association between DENV3 ADE activity at illness onset and the development of DHF compared with less severe symptomatic illness. The results of this study should encourage rethinking or refinement of the current ADE pathogenesis model for infant DHF and stimulate new directions of research into mechanisms responsible for the development of DHF during infancy.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00377754
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every year, dengue infects 50–100 million people living in tropical and subtropical areas. The four closely related viruses that cause dengue (DENV1–4) are transmitted to people through the bites of female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which acquire the viruses by feeding on the blood of an infected person. Many people who become infected with DENV have no symptoms but some develop dengue fever, a severe, flu-like illness that lasts a few days. Other people—about half a million a year—develop a potentially fatal condition called dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). In DHF, which can be caused by any of the DENVs, small blood vessels become leaky and friable. This leakiness causes nose and gum bleeds, bruising and, in the worst cases, failure of the circulatory system and death. There is no vaccine to prevent dengue and no specific treatment for dengue fever or DHF. However, with standard medical care—in particular, replacement of lost fluids—most people can survive DHF.
Why Was This Study Done?
DHF is increasingly common, but why do only some people develop DHF after infection with DENV? The widely accepted explanation for the development of DHF is “antibody-dependent enhancement” (ADE) of DENV infection. DHF occurs almost exclusively in two settings; (i) children and adults who become infected with a second DENV serotype after an initial “primary” DENV infection with a different serotype, and (ii) infants with primary DENV infections whose mothers have some DENV immunity. The ADE model suggests that in individuals who develop DHF, although there are some antibodies (proteins made by the immune system to fight infections) against DENV in their blood (in secondary heterologous infections, antibodies left over from the primary infection; in infants with primary infections, antibodies acquired from their mothers before birth), these antibodies cannot “neutralize” the virus. Instead, they bind to it and enhance its uptake by certain immune system cells, thus increasing viral infectivity and triggering an immunological cascade that results in DHF. In this prospective, nested case-control study, the researchers directly test the ADE model for infant DHF. In a prospective study, a group of people is selected and followed to see if they develop a disease; in a nested case-control study, each case is compared with people in the group who do not develop the disease.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers collected clinical data and blood samples from 4,441 mothers and their babies at up to two pre-illness study visits. They then followed the infants for a year to see which of them developed symptomatic and symptom-free DENV infections. Finally, they used the pre-illness blood samples to estimate the maternally derived anti-DENV antibody-neutralizing and -enhancing capacities in the infants at the time of DENV infection. 60 infants were infected with DENV—mainly DENV3—during the study. All but one infection was a primary infection. The infected infants showed a wide range of disease severity. Infants who had a high DENV3 neutralizing capacity at birth tended to develop symptomatic DENV3 infections later than infants who had a low DENV3 neutralizing capacity at birth. All the infants who developed a symptomatic DENV3 infection had a low estimated DENV3 neutralizing activity at the time of infection, and nearly all had measurable levels of DENV3 ADE activity. Infants who developed DHF did not have significantly higher frequencies or levels of DENV3 ADE activity than DENV3-infected infants with less severe symptoms.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that maternally derived anti-DENV3 antibody initially provides protection against dengue infections. That is, babies born to DENV immune mothers are protected against dengue infections by maternally derived antibodies. Over time, the level of these antibodies declines until eventually the infant becomes susceptible to DENV infections. However, the lack of a significant association between the estimated level of DENV3 ADE activity at illness onset and the development of DHF rather than a less severe illness throws doubt onto (but does not completely rule out) the current ADE pathogenesis model for infant DHF, at least for DENV3 infections. The results of this study, the researchers conclude, should encourage rethinking or refinement of the ADE model for infant DHF and should promote further prospective studies into the development of DHF during infancy.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000171.
TropIKA.net provides review articles, news, opinions, research articles, and reports on dengue (in English)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide detailed information about dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever (in English and Spanish)
The World Health Organization provides information on dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever around the world (in several languages)
Links to additional resources about dengue are provided by MedlinePlus (in English and Spanish)
Wikipedia has a page on antibody-dependent enhancement of viral infections (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000171
PMCID: PMC2762316  PMID: 19859541
5.  Spatial and Temporal Clustering of Dengue Virus Transmission in Thai Villages 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(11):e205.
Background
Transmission of dengue viruses (DENV), the leading cause of arboviral disease worldwide, is known to vary through time and space, likely owing to a combination of factors related to the human host, virus, mosquito vector, and environment. An improved understanding of variation in transmission patterns is fundamental to conducting surveillance and implementing disease prevention strategies. To test the hypothesis that DENV transmission is spatially and temporally focal, we compared geographic and temporal characteristics within Thai villages where DENV are and are not being actively transmitted.
Methods and Findings
Cluster investigations were conducted within 100 m of homes where febrile index children with (positive clusters) and without (negative clusters) acute dengue lived during two seasons of peak DENV transmission. Data on human infection and mosquito infection/density were examined to precisely (1) define the spatial and temporal dimensions of DENV transmission, (2) correlate these factors with variation in DENV transmission, and (3) determine the burden of inapparent and symptomatic infections. Among 556 village children enrolled as neighbors of 12 dengue-positive and 22 dengue-negative index cases, all 27 DENV infections (4.9% of enrollees) occurred in positive clusters (p < 0.01; attributable risk [AR] = 10.4 per 100; 95% confidence interval 1–19.8 per 100]. In positive clusters, 12.4% of enrollees became infected in a 15-d period and DENV infections were aggregated centrally near homes of index cases. As only 1 of 217 pairs of serologic specimens tested in positive clusters revealed a recent DENV infection that occurred prior to cluster initiation, we attribute the observed DENV transmission subsequent to cluster investigation to recent DENV transmission activity. Of the 1,022 female adult Ae. aegypti collected, all eight (0.8%) dengue-infected mosquitoes came from houses in positive clusters; none from control clusters or schools. Distinguishing features between positive and negative clusters were greater availability of piped water in negative clusters (p < 0.01) and greater number of Ae. aegypti pupae per person in positive clusters (p = 0.04). During primarily DENV-4 transmission seasons, the ratio of inapparent to symptomatic infections was nearly 1:1 among child enrollees. Study limitations included inability to sample all children and mosquitoes within each cluster and our reliance on serologic rather than virologic evidence of interval infections in enrollees given restrictions on the frequency of blood collections in children.
Conclusions
Our data reveal the remarkably focal nature of DENV transmission within a hyperendemic rural area of Thailand. These data suggest that active school-based dengue case detection prompting local spraying could contain recent virus introductions and reduce the longitudinal risk of virus spread within rural areas. Our results should prompt future cluster studies to explore how host immune and behavioral aspects may impact DENV transmission and prevention strategies. Cluster methodology could serve as a useful research tool for investigation of other temporally and spatially clustered infectious diseases.
Investigating dengue cases identified by testing febrile schoolchildren in rural Thai villages, Mammen P. Mammen and colleagues find a pattern of focal spread to houses neighboring those of case patients.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Every year, over 50 million people living in tropical and subtropical urban and semi-urban areas become infected with dengue (a mosquito-borne viral infection) and several hundred thousand develop a potentially lethal complication called dengue hemorrhagic fever. Dengue is caused by four closely related viruses that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. These day-biting insects, which breed in household water containers and in the water that collects in used tires and other discarded containers, acquire dengue virus through feeding on the blood of an infected person. Some people who become infected with dengue virus have no symptoms but others develop high fever, a rash, and severe headache that lasts two to seven days. In dengue hemorrhagic fever, small blood vessels become leaky, which causes nose and gum bleeds, bruising and, in the worst cases, failure of the circulatory system and death. There is no specific treatment for dengue fever or dengue hemorrhagic fever but standard medical care—in particular, replacement of lost blood fluids—helps most people survive the latter condition.
Why Was This Study Done?
There is no vaccine to prevent dengue. As a result the only way to minimize dengue outbreaks is to control mosquito numbers through environmental management—providing piped water, encouraging people not to store water in open containers, and removing other sources of standing water—and by applying insecticides to areas where mosquitoes breed. During outbreaks, because Ae. aegypti mosquitoes rest in houses, insecticides are also often sprayed in dwellings in the affected areas. However, to improve dengue prevention and surveillance, public-health officials need to know much more about the patterns of dengue virus transmission and about the factors that underlie these patterns. In this study, therefore, the researchers test the idea that dengue virus transmission occurs in localized neighborhood clusters over short periods of time.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used “cluster investigations” to examine the pattern of dengue virus transmission among school children in several rural villages in Thailand, a country where dengue is very common (hyperendemic). Primary school children with fever were identified during two seasons of peak dengue virus transmission. Each child was characterized as a dengue-positive index case (by finding dengue virus in their blood) or as a dengue-negative index case. Data on human infection and mosquito infection and density were then collected within 100 meters of the homes of each index case—the “cluster area.” Not all the neighbors of the index cases participated in the study but among the 556 village children who did participate, there were 27 dengue infections, all of which occurred in clusters centered on the homes of the dengue-positive index cases. In the positive clusters, one in eight of the enrolled children became infected within 15 days of the index case becoming ill. Among 1,000 Ae. aegypti mosquitoes collected inside and around the houses in each cluster, only eight were infected with dengue and these were all collected from houses in positive clusters. Finally, there was a greater availability of piped water and fewer Ae. aegypti pupae in the negative clusters than in the positive clusters.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Although this study did not sample all the children or mosquitoes within each cluster area, these findings show that in an area where dengue is hyperendemic, dengue virus transmission among children occurs in localized areas and over short time periods. The findings also suggest that focal transmission is associated with recent dengue virus introductions and that one or a few mosquitoes are likely responsible for all the transmission in each cluster. Although it would be impractical to set up surveillance of all the school children in Thailand for dengue infections, these findings suggest that improved detection of cases within schools combined with local spraying inside the homes in the immediate vicinity of any affected children could help to halt dengue virus transmission. Future cluster studies could explore how human behavior and human immunity affect dengue virus transmission and could also be used to investigate other temporally and spatially clustered infectious diseases, including malaria.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050205.
Read the related PLoS Medicine Perspective by Steven Riley
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides detailed information about dengue fever, including a questions and answers section in English and Spanish
The World Health Organization provides information on dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever around the world (in several languages)
Links to additional information about dengue are provided by MedlinePlus (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050205
PMCID: PMC2577695  PMID: 18986209
6.  The relationship of interacting immunological components in dengue pathogenesis 
Virology Journal  2009;6:211.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are over 50 million cases of dengue fever reported annually and approximately 2.5 billion people are at risk. Mild dengue fever presents with headache, fever, rash, myalgia, osteogenic pain, and lethargy. Severe disease can manifest as dengue shock syndrome (DSS) or dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). Symptoms of DSS/DHF are leukopenia, low blood volume and pressure encephalitis, cold and sweaty skin, gastrointestinal bleeding, and spontaneous bleeding from gums and nose. Currently, there are no therapeutics available beyond supportive care and untreated complicated dengue fever can have a 50% mortality rate. According to WHO DSS/DHF is the leading cause of childhood mortality in some Asian countries. Dendritic cells are professional antigen presenting cells that are primary targets in a dengue infection. Dengue binds to Dendritic Cell-Specific Intercellular adhesion molecule-3-Grabbing Non-integrin (DC-SIGN). DC-SIGN has a high affinity for ICAM3 which is expressed in activating T-cells. Previous studies have demonstrated an altered T-cell phenotype expressed in dengue infected patients that could be potentially mediated by dengue-infected DCs.
Dengue is enhanced by three interacting components of the immune system. Dengue begins by infecting dendritic cells which in immature dendritic cells is mediated by DC-SIGN. In mature dendritic cells, antibodies can enhance dengue infection via Fc receptors. Downstream of dendritic cells T-cells become activated and generate the very cytokines implicated in vascular leak and shock in addition to activating effector cells. Both the virus and the antibodies are involved in release of complement and anaphylatoxins which can cause or exacerbate DHF/DSS. These systems are inextricable and strongly associated with dengue pathogenesis.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-6-211
PMCID: PMC2789730  PMID: 19941667
7.  Differential Expression of Toll-like Receptors in Dendritic Cells of Patients with Dengue during Early and Late Acute Phases of the Disease 
Background
Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) is observed in individuals that have pre-existing heterotypic dengue antibodies and is associated with increased viral load and high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines early in infection. Interestingly, a recent study showed that dengue virus infection in the presence of antibodies resulted in poor stimulation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs), thereby facilitating virus particle production, and also suggesting that TLRs may contribute to disease pathogenesis.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We evaluated the expression levels of TLR2, 3, 4 and 9 and the co-stimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86 by flow cytometry. This was evaluated in monocytes, in myeloid and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (mDCs and pDCs) from 30 dengue patients with different clinical outcomes and in 20 healthy controls. Increased expression of TLR3 and TLR9 in DCs of patients with dengue fever (DF) early in infection was detected. In DCs from patients with severe manifestations, poor stimulation of TLR3 and TLR9 was observed. In addition, we found a lower expression of TLR2 in patients with DF compared to DHF. Expression levels of TLR4 were not affected. Furthermore, the expression of CD80 and CD86 was altered in mDCs and CD86 in pDCs of severe dengue cases. We show that interferon alpha production decreased in the presence of dengue virus after stimulation of PBMCs with the TLR9 agonist (CpG A). This suggests that the virus can affect the interferon response through this signaling pathway.
Conclusions/Significance
These results show that during dengue disease progression, the expression profile of TLRs changes depending on the severity of the disease. Changes in TLRs expression could play a central role in DC activation, thereby influencing the innate immune response.
Author Summary
Dengue virus (DENV) infections cause a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations, ranging from self-limited fever to severe disease, such as dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) that can be fatal. The pathogenesis of severe dengue is associated with an inadequate immune response characterized by the over-production of cytokines and other inflammatory components. However, little is known about the role of the innate immune response in the progression to hemorrhagic manifestations. TLRs are among the most important components of innate immunity and are responsible for initiating a response against a variety of pathogens, including viruses. Recent studies suggest that TLRs may contribute to disease pathogenesis. Here we aimed to explore the role of these receptors in dengue disease progression. To this end, we examined the expression of several TLRs and of co-stimulatory molecules in monocytes and DCs from dengue patients. A link between TLRs expression and the severity of dengue was observed: patients with dengue fever express higher levels of TLR3 and TLR9 than patients with DHF. This could be crucial for the host defense against dengue virus or disease progression. In addition, expression of CD80 and CD86 was altered in DCs of severe dengue cases. We show that interferon type I production is also altered in vitro through TLR9. This suggests that dengue virus affects the interferon response through this signaling pathway.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002060
PMCID: PMC3585035  PMID: 23469297
8.  Human T cell responses to dengue virus antigens. Proliferative responses and interferon gamma production. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1989;83(2):506-513.
The severe complications of dengue virus infections, hemorrhagic manifestations and shock, are more commonly observed during secondary dengue virus infections than during primary infections. It has been speculated that these complications are mediated by cross-reactive host-immune responses. We have begun to analyze human T cell responses to dengue antigens in vitro to explain the possible role of T lymphocytes in the pathogenesis of these complications. Dengue antigens induce proliferative responses of PBMC from dengue antibody-positive donors, but do not induce specific proliferative responses of PBMC from dengue antibody-negative donors. IFN gamma is detected in the culture fluids of dengue-immune PBMC stimulated with dengue antigens. The cells that proliferate in the dengue antigen-stimulated bulk cultures have CD3+, CD4+, CD8-, CD16-, and CD20- phenotypes. Dengue-specific T cell lines were established using limiting dilution techniques. They have CD3+, CD4+, and CD8- phenotypes, and produce IFN gamma in response to dengue antigens. Culture fluids from dengue-immune PBMC stimulated with dengue antigens, which contain IFN gamma, augment dengue virus infection of human monocytes by dengue virus-antibody complexes. These results indicate that PBMC from dengue-immune donors contain CD4+ T cells that proliferate and produce IFN gamma after stimulation with dengue antigens, and suggest that the IFN gamma that is produced by these stimulated dengue-specific T cells may contribute to the pathogenesis of dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome by increasing the number of dengue virus-infected monocytes in the presence of cross-reactive anti-dengue antibodies.
Images
PMCID: PMC303708  PMID: 2521489
9.  Lethal Antibody Enhancement of Dengue Disease in Mice Is Prevented by Fc Modification 
PLoS Pathogens  2010;6(2):e1000790.
Immunity to one of the four dengue virus (DV) serotypes can increase disease severity in humans upon subsequent infection with another DV serotype. Serotype cross-reactive antibodies facilitate DV infection of myeloid cells in vitro by promoting virus entry via Fcγ receptors (FcγR), a process known as antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). However, despite decades of investigation, no in vivo model for antibody enhancement of dengue disease severity has been described. Analogous to human infants who receive anti-DV antibodies by transplacental transfer and develop severe dengue disease during primary infection, we show here that passive administration of anti-DV antibodies is sufficient to enhance DV infection and disease in mice using both mouse-adapted and clinical DV isolates. Antibody-enhanced lethal disease featured many of the hallmarks of severe dengue disease in humans, including thrombocytopenia, vascular leakage, elevated serum cytokine levels, and increased systemic viral burden in serum and tissue phagocytes. Passive transfer of a high dose of serotype-specific antibodies eliminated viremia, but lower doses of these antibodies or cross-reactive polyclonal or monoclonal antibodies all enhanced disease in vivo even when antibody levels were neutralizing in vitro. In contrast, a genetically engineered antibody variant (E60-N297Q) that cannot bind FcγR exhibited prophylactic and therapeutic efficacy against ADE-induced lethal challenge. These observations provide insight into the pathogenesis of antibody-enhanced dengue disease and identify a novel strategy for the design of therapeutic antibodies against dengue.
Author Summary
Dengue is the most common vector-borne viral disease of humans, with over 3 billion people at risk for infection and 50–100 million infections in tropical and subtropical regions each year. Dengue virus (DV) causes a spectrum of clinical disease ranging from an acute debilitating, self-limited febrile illness (DF) to a life-threatening vascular leakage syndrome, referred to as dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS). There are four serotypes of DENV; infection with one serotype is thought to protect against re-infection with the same serotype, but may either protect against or enhance infection with one of the other three serotypes. Epidemiological and in vitro data has implicated anti-DENV antibodies in mediating pathogenesis of a second DENV infection. However, it is unclear which antibody conditions are protective and which exacerbate disease in vivo, in part because no animal model of antibody-enhanced dengue disease has been available. Here, we present the first animal model of antibody-enhanced severe DENV infection. Importantly, this model recapitulates many aspects of human disease, including vascular leakage, elevated serum cytokine levels, reduced platelet count, and disseminated infection of tissue phagocytes. Furthermore, we demonstrate the utility of this model by showing that a genetically modified anti-DENV antibody that fails to bind the Fcγ receptor has prophylactic and therapeutic efficacy against lethal DENV challenge in vivo.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000790
PMCID: PMC2820409  PMID: 20168989
10.  Association of Mast Cell-Derived VEGF and Proteases in Dengue Shock Syndrome 
Background
Recent in-vitro studies have suggested that mast cells are involved in Dengue virus infection. To clarify the role of mast cells in the development of clinical Dengue fever, we compared the plasma levels of several mast cell-derived mediators (vascular endothelial cell growth factor [VEGF], soluble VEGF receptors [sVEGFRs], tryptase, and chymase) and -related cytokines (IL-4, -9, and -17) between patients with differing severity of Dengue fever and healthy controls.
Methodology/Principal Findings
The study was performed at Children's Hospital No. 2, Ho Chi Minh City, and Vinh Long Province Hospital, Vietnam from 2002 to 2005. Study patients included 103 with Dengue fever (DF), Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), and Dengue shock syndrome (DSS), as diagnosed by the World Health Organization criteria. There were 189 healthy subjects, and 19 febrile illness patients of the same Kinh ethnicity. The levels of mast cell-derived mediators and -related cytokines in plasma were measured by ELISA. VEGF and sVEGFR-1 levels were significantly increased in DHF and DSS compared with those of DF and controls, whereas sVEGFR-2 levels were significantly decreased in DHF and DSS. Significant increases in tryptase and chymase levels, which were accompanied by high IL-9 and -17 concentrations, were detected in DHF and DSS patients. By day 4 of admission, VEGF, sVEGFRs, and proteases levels had returned to similar levels as DF and controls. In-vitro VEGF production by mast cells was examined in KU812 and HMC-1 cells, and was found to be highest when the cells were inoculated with Dengue virus and human Dengue virus-immune serum in the presence of IL-9.
Conclusions
As mast cells are an important source of VEGF, tryptase, and chymase, our findings suggest that mast cell activation and mast cell-derived mediators participate in the development of DHF. The two proteases, particularly chymase, might serve as good predictive markers of Dengue disease severity.
Author Summary
To clarify the involvement of mast cells in the development of severe Dengue diseases, plasma levels of mast cell-derived mediators, namely vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF), tryptase, and chymase, were estimated in Dengue patients and control subjects in Vietnam. The levels of the mediators were significantly increased in Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and Dengue shock syndrome (DSS) patients compared with those of Dengue fever (DF) and control (febrile illness and healthy subjects) patients, and the soluble form of VEGF receptors (sVEGFR)-1 and -2 levels were significantly changed in the patients with severe disease. After 2–4 days of admission, the mediator levels had returned to similar levels as those of DF and control subjects. Furthermore, the levels of the Th17 cell-derived mast-cell activators IL-9 and -17 were increased in DHF and DSS. In-vitro production of VEGF in human mast cells was significantly enhanced in the presence of IL-9 when these cells were inoculated with Dengue virus in the presence of human Dengue virus-immune serum. As mast cells are an important source of VEGF, and tryptase and chymase are considered to be specific markers for mast cell activation, mast cells and mast cell-derived mediators might participate in the development of DHF/DSS.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001505
PMCID: PMC3283553  PMID: 22363824
11.  Protective and Enhancing HLA Alleles, HLA-DRB1*0901 and HLA-A*24, for Severe Forms of Dengue Virus Infection, Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever and Dengue Shock Syndrome 
Background
Dengue virus (DV) infection is one of the most important mosquito-borne diseases in the tropics. Recently, the severe forms, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS), have become the leading cause of death among children in Southern Vietnam. Protective and/or pathogenic T cell immunity is supposed to be important in the pathogenesis of DHF and DSS.
Methodology/Principal Findings
To identify HLA alleles controlling T cell immunity against dengue virus (DV), we performed a hospital-based case control study at Children's Hospital No.2, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), and Vinh Long Province Hospital (VL) in Southern Vietnam from 2002 to 2005. A total of 211 and 418 patients with DHF and DSS, respectively, diagnosed according to the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria, were analyzed for their characteristic HLA-A, -B and -DRB1 alleles. Four hundred fifty healthy children (250 from HCMC and 200 from VL) of the same Kinh ethnicity were also analyzed as population background. In HLA class I, frequency of the HLA-A*24 showed increased tendency in both DHF and DSS patients, which reproduced a previous study. The frequency of A*24 with histidine at codon 70 (A*2402/03/10), based on main anchor binding site specificity analysis in DSS and DHF patients, was significantly higher than that in the population background groups (HCMC 02-03 DSS: OR = 1.89, P = 0.008, DHF: OR = 1.75, P = 0.033; VL 02-03 DSS: OR = 1.70, P = 0.03, DHF: OR = 1.46, P = 0.38; VL 04-05 DSS: OR = 2.09, P = 0.0075, DHF: OR = 2.02, P = 0.038). In HLA class II, the HLA-DRB1*0901 frequency was significantly decreased in secondary infection of DSS in VL 04-05 (OR = 0.35, P = 0.0025, Pc = 0.03). Moreover, the frequency of HLA-DRB1*0901 in particular was significantly decreased in DSS when compared with DHF in DEN-2 infection (P = 0.02).
Conclusion
This study improves our understanding of the risk of HLA-class I for severe outcome of DV infection in the light of peptide anchor binding site and provides novel evidence that HLA-class II may control disease severity (DHF to DSS) in DV infection.
Author Summary
Dengue has become one of the most common viral diseases transmitted by infected mosquitoes (with any of the four dengue virus serotypes: DEN-1, -2, -3, or -4). It may present as asymptomatic or illness, ranging from mild to severe disease. Recently, the severe forms, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS), have become the leading cause of death among children in Southern Vietnam. The pathogenesis of DHF/DSS, however, is not yet completely understood. The immune response, virus virulence, and host genetic background are considered to be risk factors contributing to disease severity. Human leucocyte antigens (HLA) expressed on the cell surface function as antigen presenting molecules and those polymorphism can change individuals' immune response. We investigated the HLA-A, -B (class I), and -DRB1 (class II) polymorphism in Vietnamese children with different severity (DHF/DSS) by a hospital-based case-control study. The study showed persons carrying HLA-A*2402/03/10 are about 2 times more likely to have severe dengue infection than others. On the other hand, HLA-DRB1*0901 persons are less likely to develop DSS with DEN-2 virus infection. These results clearly demonstrated that HLA controlled the susceptibility to severe forms of DV infection.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000304
PMCID: PMC2553281  PMID: 18827882
12.  Roles of Small GTPase Rac1 in the Regulation of Actin Cytoskeleton during Dengue Virus Infection 
Background
Increased vascular permeability is a hallmark feature in severe dengue virus (DV) infection, and dysfunction of endothelial cells has been speculated to contribute in the pathogenesis of dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS). Rho-family GTPase Rac1 is a significant element of endothelial barrier function regulation and has been implicated in the regulation of actin remodeling and intercellular junction formation. Yet there is little evidence linking Rac1 GTPase to alteration in endothelial cell function induced by DV infection.
Methods and Findings
Here, we showed that actin is essential for DV serotype 2 (DV2) entry into and release from ECV304 cells, and Rac1 signaling is involved these processes. At early infection, actin cytoskeleton rearranged significantly during 1 hour post infection, and disrupting actin filament dynamics with jasplakinolide or cytochalasin D reduced DV2 entry. DV2 entry induced reduction of Rac1 activity within 1 hour post infection. The expression of dominant-negative forms of Rac1 established that DV2 entry is negatively regulated by Rac1. At late infection, actin drugs also inhibited the DV2 release and induced accumulation of viral proteins in the cytoplasm. Meanwhile, the activity of Rac1 increased significantly with the progression of DV2 infection and was up-regulated in transfected cells expressing E protein. Confocal microscopy showed that DV2 E protein was closely associated with either actin or Rac1 in DV2-infected cells. The interaction between E protein and actin was further confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation assay.
Conclusions
These results defined roles for actin integrity in DV2 entry and release, and indicated evidence for the participation of Rac1 signaling pathways in DV2-induced actin reorganizations and E-actin interaction. Our results may provide further insight into the pathogenesis of DHF/DSS.
Author Summary
An important clinical characteristic of dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome is increased vascular permeability. Actin cytoskeleton is a significant element of endothelial barrier function regulation. In vitro study showed that dengue virus infection could induce redistributions of actin cytoskeleton. It is not precisely clear the roles of actin and the mechanisms of its reorganization during the infection. Using immunochemical assays, drug inhibition assays and protein interaction profiling methods, we aimed to identify the ways in which dengue virus serotype 2 interacts with actin cytoskeleton. The study showed that dynamic treadmilling of actin is necessary for dengue virus entry, production and release, while small GTPase Rac1 also plays multiple roles during these processes. In addition, we demonstrated the association of viral E protein with actin, indicating a direct effect of viral protein on the structural modifications of actin cytoskeleton. Our results provide evidence for the participation of Rac1 signaling pathways in viral protein-induced actin reorganizations, which may be a mechanism involved in the etiology of dengue hemorrhagic fever.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000809
PMCID: PMC2930870  PMID: 20824170
13.  Immature Dengue Virus: A Veiled Pathogen? 
PLoS Pathogens  2010;6(1):e1000718.
Cells infected with dengue virus release a high proportion of immature prM-containing virions. In accordance, substantial levels of prM antibodies are found in sera of infected humans. Furthermore, it has been recently described that the rates of prM antibody responses are significantly higher in patients with secondary infection compared to those with primary infection. This suggests that immature dengue virus may play a role in disease pathogenesis. Interestingly, however, numerous functional studies have revealed that immature particles lack the ability to infect cells. In this report, we show that fully immature dengue particles become highly infectious upon interaction with prM antibodies. We demonstrate that prM antibodies facilitate efficient binding and cell entry of immature particles into Fc-receptor-expressing cells. In addition, enzymatic activity of furin is critical to render the internalized immature virus infectious. Together, these data suggest that during a secondary infection or primary infection of infants born to dengue-immune mothers, immature particles have the potential to be highly infectious and hence may contribute to the development of severe disease.
Author Summary
Dengue virus represents a major emerging arboviral pathogen circulating in the (sub)tropical regions of the world, putting 2.5 billion people at risk of infection. Each of the four circulating serotypes can cause disease ranging from febrile illness to devastating manifestations including dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. Severe illness is observed in individuals experiencing a re-infection with a heterologous dengue virus serotype and in infants born to dengue-immune mothers, presumably due to antibody-dependent enhancement of infection. Interestingly, it has been recently reported that patients experiencing a secondary infection have elevated levels of antibodies directed against the prM protein of immature dengue virus particles. Although it is known that cells infected with dengue virus release substantial amounts of prM-containing virions, numerous functional studies have demonstrated that immature particles lack the ability to infect cells. Herein, we show that essentially non-infectious fully immature dengue virions become virtually as infectious as wild type virus particles in the presence of prM antibodies. Anti-prM antibodies facilitate efficient binding and entry of immature dengue virus into cells carrying Fc-receptors. Furthermore, furin activity in target cells is critical for triggering infectivity of immature virus. These data indicate that immature dengue virus has the potential to be highly infectious and hence may contribute to disease pathogenesis.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000718
PMCID: PMC2798752  PMID: 20062797
14.  Dextran Fractional Clearance Studies in Acute Dengue Infection 
Background
Although increased capillary permeability is the major clinical feature associated with severe dengue infections the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon remain unclear. Dextran clearance methodology has been used to investigate the molecular sieving properties of the microvasculature in clinical situations associated with altered permeability, including during pregnancy and in various renal disorders. In order to better understand the characteristics of the vascular leak associated with dengue we undertook formal dextran clearance studies in Vietnamese dengue patients and healthy volunteers.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We carried out serial clearance studies in 15 young adult males with acute dengue and evidence of vascular leakage a) during the phase of maximal leakage and b) one and three months later, as well as in 16 healthy control subjects. Interestingly we found no difference in the clearance profiles of neutral dextran solutions among the dengue patients at any time-point or in comparison to the healthy volunteers.
Conclusions/Significance
The surface glycocalyx layer, a fibre-matrix of proteoglycans, glycosaminoglycans, and plasma proteins, forms a complex with the underlying endothelial cells to regulate plasma volume within circumscribed limits. It is likely that during dengue infections loss of plasma proteins from this layer alters the permeability characteristics of the complex; physical and/or electrostatic interactions between the dextran molecules and the glycocalyx structure may temporarily restore normal function, rendering the technique unsuitable for assessing permeability in these patients. The implications for resuscitation of patients with dengue shock syndrome (DSS) are potentially important. It is possible that continuous low-dose infusions of dextran may help to stabilize the permeability barrier in patients with profound or refractory shock, reducing the need for repeated boluses, limiting the total colloid volume required. Formal clinical studies should help to assess this strategy as an alternative to conventional fluid resuscitation for severe DSS.
Author Summary
Dengue is a potentially serious common viral infection with no specific treatment. Plasma leakage from small blood vessels is the major severe problem, but we do not understand how this occurs. Techniques using controlled infusions of carbohydrate solutions, combined with careful measurement of the rate that the different-sized molecules clear from the circulation, have been successfully used to investigate leakage in other situations. We performed carbohydrate clearance studies in 15 Vietnamese adult males with dengue and plasma leakage, comparing results obtained during the acute illness with recovery values, and results from a group of healthy volunteers. However, we found no differences between any of the clearance profiles measured. One possible explanation may be that the carbohydrate molecules interact with blood vessels, temporarily restoring their normal barrier function. Although this means that the technique is unsuitable for investigating leakage in dengue patients, the implications for management of patients with severe leakage resulting in shock are potentially important. Patients with profound shock are usually managed with intermittent large boluses of carbohydrate or similar solutions, sometimes causing severe side-effects; however if continuous low-dose infusions actually stabilized the permeability barrier, this might reduce the need for repeated boluses, thereby minimizing these adverse effects.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001282
PMCID: PMC3160290  PMID: 21886850
15.  Enhancement by Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha of Dengue Virus-Induced Endothelial Cell Production of Reactive Nitrogen and Oxygen Species Is Key to Hemorrhage Development▿  
Journal of Virology  2008;82(24):12312-12324.
Hemorrhage is a severe manifestation of dengue disease. Virus strain and host immune response have been implicated as the risk factors for hemorrhage development. To delineate the complex interplay between the virus and the host, we established a dengue hemorrhage model in immune-competent mice. Mice inoculated intradermally with dengue virus develop hemorrhage within 3 days. In the present study, we showed by the presence of NS1 antigen and viral nuclei acid that dengue virus actively infects the endothelium at 12 h and 24 h after inoculation. Temporal studies showed that beginning at day 2, there was macrophage infiltration into the vicinity of the endothelium, increased tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) production, and endothelial cell apoptosis in the tissues. In the meantime, endothelial cells in the hemorrhage tissues expressed inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and nitrotyrosine. In vitro studies showed that primary mouse and human endothelial cells were productively infected by dengue virus. Infection by dengue virus induced endothelial cell production of reactive nitrogen and oxygen species and apoptotic cell death, which was greatly enhanced by TNF-α. NG-Nitro-l-arginine methyl ester and N-acetyl cysteine reversed the effects of dengue virus and TNF-α on endothelial cells. Importantly, hemorrhage development and the severity of hemorrhage were greatly reduced in mice lacking iNOS or p47phox or treatment with oxidase inhibitor, pointing to the critical roles of reactive nitrogen and oxygen species in dengue hemorrhage.
doi:10.1128/JVI.00968-08
PMCID: PMC2593312  PMID: 18842737
16.  Analysis of Murine CD8+ T-Cell Clones Specific for the Dengue Virus NS3 Protein: Flavivirus Cross-Reactivity and Influence of Infecting Serotype 
Journal of Virology  1999;73(1):398-403.
Serotype-cross-reactive dengue virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) induced during a primary dengue virus infection are thought to play a role in the immunopathogenesis of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) during a secondary dengue virus infection. Although there is no animal model of DHF, we previously reported that murine dengue virus-specific CTL responses are qualitatively similar to human dengue virus-specific CTL responses. We used BALB/c mice to study the specificity of the CTL response to an immunodominant epitope on the dengue virus NS3 protein. We mapped the minimal H-2Kd-restricted CTL epitope to residues 298 to 306 of the dengue type 2 virus NS3 protein. In short-term T-cell lines and clones, the predominant CD8+ CTL to this epitope in mice immunized with dengue type 2 virus or vaccinia virus expressing the dengue type 4 virus NS3 protein were cross-reactive with dengue type 2 or type 4 virus, while broadly serotype-cross-reactive CTL were a minority population. In dengue type 3 virus-immunized mice, the predominant CTL response to this epitope was broadly serotype cross-reactive. All of the dengue virus-specific CTL clones studied also recognized the homologous NS3 sequences of one or more closely related flaviviruses, such as Kunjin virus. The critical contact residues for the CTL clones with different specificities were mapped with peptides having single amino acid substitutions. These data demonstrate that primary dengue virus infection induces a complex population of flavivirus-cross-reactive NS3-specific CTL clones in mice and suggest that CTL responses are influenced by the viral serotype. These findings suggest an additional mechanism by which the order of sequential flavivirus infections may influence disease manifestations.
PMCID: PMC103845  PMID: 9847344
17.  Dengue virus-specific human T cell clones. Serotype crossreactive proliferation, interferon gamma production, and cytotoxic activity 
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)
PMCID: PMC2189437  PMID: 2475573
18.  First Experimental In Vivo Model of Enhanced Dengue Disease Severity through Maternally Acquired Heterotypic Dengue Antibodies 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(4):e1004031.
Dengue (DEN) represents the most serious arthropod-borne viral disease. DEN clinical manifestations range from mild febrile illness to life-threatening hemorrhage and vascular leakage. Early epidemiological observations reported that infants born to DEN-immune mothers were at greater risk to develop the severe forms of the disease upon infection with any serotype of dengue virus (DENV). From these observations emerged the hypothesis of antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of disease severity, whereby maternally acquired anti-DENV antibodies cross-react but fail to neutralize DENV particles, resulting in higher viremia that correlates with increased disease severity. Although in vitro and in vivo experimental set ups have indirectly supported the ADE hypothesis, direct experimental evidence has been missing. Furthermore, a recent epidemiological study has challenged the influence of maternal antibodies in disease outcome. Here we have developed a mouse model of ADE where DENV2 infection of young mice born to DENV1-immune mothers led to earlier death which correlated with higher viremia and increased vascular leakage compared to DENV2-infected mice born to dengue naïve mothers. In this ADE model we demonstrated the role of TNF-α in DEN-induced vascular leakage. Furthermore, upon infection with an attenuated DENV2 mutant strain, mice born to DENV1-immune mothers developed lethal disease accompanied by vascular leakage whereas infected mice born to dengue naïve mothers did no display any clinical manifestation. In vitro ELISA and ADE assays confirmed the cross-reactive and enhancing properties towards DENV2 of the serum from mice born to DENV1-immune mothers. Lastly, age-dependent susceptibility to disease enhancement was observed in mice born to DENV1-immune mothers, thus reproducing epidemiological observations.
Overall, this work provides direct in vivo demonstration of the role of maternally acquired heterotypic dengue antibodies in the enhancement of dengue disease severity and offers a unique opportunity to further decipher the mechanisms involved.
Author Summary
Dengue (DEN) is an arthropod-transmitted viral disease which affects approximately 390 million individuals in the tropical and subtropical world annually. DEN clinical manifestations range from mild febrile illness (dengue fever) to life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic/dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS). Epidemiological observations indicate that infants born to dengue immune mothers are at greater risk to develop the severe form of the disease (DHF/DSS) upon infection with any serotype of dengue virus (DENV). It was proposed that the presence of maternally acquired DENV specific antibodies cross react but fail to neutralize DENV particles, resulting in higher viremia that correlates with increased disease severity. Direct experimental evidence supporting this antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) hypothesis has been missing. Furthermore, a recent epidemiological report has challenged the influence of maternally acquired antibodies in disease outcome. Here, we have developed a mouse model of ADE where DENV2-infected mice born to DENV1 immune mothers displayed enhanced disease severity compared to DENV2-infected mice born to dengue naïve mothers. This is a long-overdue direct experimental evidence of the role of maternally acquired antibodies in dengue disease outcome. It provides a unique opportunity to dissect the mechanisms involved in this phenomenon.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004031
PMCID: PMC3974839  PMID: 24699622
19.  Differential Functional Avidity of Dengue Virus-Specific T-Cell Clones for Variant Peptides Representing Heterologous and Previously Encountered Serotypes▿  
Journal of Virology  2007;81(18):10081-10091.
Proinflammatory cytokines secreted by memory CD8+ and CD4+ T cells are thought to play a direct role in the pathogenesis of dengue virus infection by increasing vascular permeability and thereby inducing the pathophysiologic events associated with dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. Severe disease is frequently observed in the setting of secondary infection with heterologous dengue virus serotypes, suggesting a role for cross-reactive memory T cells in the immunopathogenesis of severe disease. We used a large panel of well-characterized dengue virus-specific CD8+ T-cell clones isolated from Pacific Islanders previously infected with dengue virus 1 to examine effector memory function, focusing on a novel dominant HLA-B*5502-restricted NS5329-337 epitope, and assessed T-cell responses to stimulation with variant peptides representing heterologous serotypes. Variant peptides were differentially recognized by dengue virus 1-specific effector CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in a heterogeneous and clone-specific manner, in which cytolytic function and cytokine secretion could be enhanced, diminished, or abrogated compared with cognate peptide stimulation. Dengue virus-specific CTL stimulated with cognate and variant peptides demonstrated a cytokine response hierarchy of gamma IFN (IFN-γ) > tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) > interleukin-2 (IL-2), and a subset of clones also produced IL-4 and IL-6. Individual clones demonstrated greater avidity for variant peptides representing heterologous serotypes, including serotypes previously encountered by the subject, and IFN-γ and TNF-α secretion was enhanced by stimulation with these heterologous peptides. Altered antiviral T-cell responses in response to stimulation with heterologous dengue virus serotypes have implications for control of virus replication and for disease pathogenesis.
doi:10.1128/JVI.00330-07
PMCID: PMC2045385  PMID: 17626101
20.  Multiyear Climate Variability and Dengue—El Niño Southern Oscillation, Weather, and Dengue Incidence in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Thailand: A Longitudinal Data Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(11):e1000168.
Michael Johansson and colleagues use wavelet analysis to show that there is limited evidence for a multiyear relationship between climate and dengue incidence in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Thailand.
Background
The mosquito-borne dengue viruses are a major public health problem throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Changes in temperature and precipitation have well-defined roles in the transmission cycle and may thus play a role in changing incidence levels. The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a multiyear climate driver of local temperature and precipitation worldwide. Previous studies have reported varying degrees of association between ENSO and dengue incidence.
Methods and Findings
We analyzed the relationship between ENSO, local weather, and dengue incidence in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Thailand using wavelet analysis to identify time- and frequency-specific association. In Puerto Rico, ENSO was transiently associated with temperature and dengue incidence on multiyear scales. However, only local precipitation and not temperature was associated with dengue on multiyear scales. In Thailand, ENSO was associated with both temperature and precipitation. Although precipitation was associated with dengue incidence, the association was nonstationary and likely spurious. In Mexico, no association between any of the variables was observed on the multiyear scale.
Conclusions
The evidence for a relationship between ENSO, climate, and dengue incidence presented here is weak. While multiyear climate variability may play a role in endemic interannual dengue dynamics, we did not find evidence of a strong, consistent relationship in any of the study areas. The role of ENSO may be obscured by local climate heterogeneity, insufficient data, randomly coincident outbreaks, and other, potentially stronger, intrinsic factors regulating transmission dynamics.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every year, as many as 50–100 million people become infected with one of four closely related dengue viruses through the bite of a female Aedes aegypti mosquito that has acquired the virus by feeding on infected human blood. Dengue is endemic (always present) in many tropical and subtropical countries but its incidence (the number of new cases in a population over a given time period) follows a seasonal pattern. This is because the abundance of Ae. aegypti is regulated by rainfall, which provides breeding sites and stimulates egg hatching, and by temperature, which influences the insects' survival and their rate of development and reproduction. Temperature also affects the mosquitoes' ability to transmit dengue virus—higher temperatures increase transmission rates. Although some people who become infected with dengue have no symptoms, many develop dengue fever, a severe, flu-like illness that lasts a few days. Other people—more than half a million a year—develop dengue hemorrhagic fever, a potentially fatal condition. There is no vaccine to prevent dengue and no specific treatment for the disease, but standard medical care can prevent most deaths from dengue.
Why Was This Study Done?
As well as seasonal variations in the incidence of dengue, large dengue outbreaks (epidemics) occur every few years. To help with health care planning, public health officials would like a way to predict when these epidemics are likely to occur, but to develop such a system requires a good understanding of the factors that lead to major epidemics. Although variations in host–virus interactions (for example, changes in host immunity to dengue) almost certainly play an important role in the timing of dengue epidemics, interannual changes in temperature and rainfall could also be involved. One major cause of global interannual weather variation is the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a climate cycle centered on the Pacific Ocean that repeats every 3–4 years. Previous studies have reported varying degrees of association between ENSO and dengue. In this study, the researchers reanalyze the relationship between ENSO, local weather, and dengue incidence in three dengue-endemic countries using “wavelet analysis.” This mathematical technique can separate the effects of seasonal weather variations on dengue incidence from those of interannual weather fluctuations.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers retrieved data on the incidence of dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever in Puerto Rico, Thailand and Mexico since the mid 1980s from national surveillance systems. They also collected historical weather data for each country and information on ENSO. They then used these data and wavelet analysis to investigate the relationship between ENSO, local weather, and dengue incidence in each country on the annual scale and on the multiyear scale. On the annual scale, temperature, rainfall, and dengue incidence were strongly associated in all three countries. On the multiyear scale, ENSO was associated with temperature and with dengue incidence in Puerto Rico, but only for part of the study period. Only local rainfall was associated with the incidence of dengue in that country. The lack of a direct path of association from ENSO to either weather variable to dengue incidence suggests that the ENSO–dengue association may be a spurious result. In Thailand, ENSO was associated with both temperature and rainfall, and rainfall was associated with dengue incidence. However, detailed analysis suggests that this latter association was also probably spurious. Finally, there was no association between any of the variables in Mexico on the multiyear scale.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Although these findings show a strong associations between both temperature and rainfall and dengue incidence on the annual scale in Puerto Rico, Thailand, and Mexico, they provide little evidence for any relationship between ENSO, climate, and dengue incidence. Multiyear climate variability may play a role in interannual variations in dengue incidence, the researchers suggest, but their study does not provide any evidence for a strong and consistent relationship between climate variability and dengue incidence. It is possible that the effects of ENSO on dengue incidence are being masked by local variations in weather or by stronger factors regulating disease transmission such as host–virus or host–vector interactions. Future studies into the relationship between dengue outbreaks and multiyear climate variability will need to include these and other factors. For now, however, information on ENSO cannot be used to design an early warning system for dengue outbreaks.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000168.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Pejman Rohani
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides detailed information about dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever (in English and Spanish)
The World Health Organization provides information on dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever around the world (in several languages)
Links to additional resources about dengue are provided by MedlinePlus (in English and Spanish)
Wikipedia has pages on the El Nio Southern Oscillation and on wavelet analysis (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000168
PMCID: PMC2771282  PMID: 19918363
21.  Dengue Virus Type 2 (DENV2)-Induced Oxidative Responses in Monocytes from Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD)-Deficient and G6PD Normal Subjects 
Background
Dengue virus is endemic in peninsular Malaysia. The clinical manifestations vary depending on the incubation period of the virus as well as the immunity of the patients. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is prevalent in Malaysia where the incidence is 3.2%. It has been noted that some G6PD-deficient individuals suffer from more severe clinical presentation of dengue infection. In this study, we aim to investigate the oxidative responses of DENV2-infected monocytes from G6PD-deficient individuals.
Methodology
Monocytes from G6PD-deficient individuals were infected with DENV2 and infection rate, levels of oxidative species, nitric oxide (NO), superoxide anions (O2−), and oxidative stress were determined and compared with normal controls.
Principal Findings
Monocytes from G6PD-deficient individuals exhibited significantly higher infection rates compared to normal controls. In an effort to explain the reason for this enhanced susceptibility, we investigated the production of NO and O2− in the monocytes of individuals with G6PD deficiency compared with normal controls. We found that levels of NO and O2− were significantly lower in the DENV-infected monocytes from G6PD-deficient individuals compared with normal controls. Furthermore, the overall oxidative stress in DENV-infected monocytes from G6PD-deficient individuals was significantly higher when compared to normal controls. Correlation studies between DENV-infected cells and oxidative state of monocytes further confirmed these findings.
Conclusions/Significance
Altered redox state of DENV-infected monocytes from G6PD-deficient individuals appears to augment viral replication in these cells. DENV-infected G6PD-deficient individuals may contain higher viral titers, which may be significant in enhanced virus transmission. Furthermore, granulocyte dysfunction and higher viral loads in G6PD-deificient individuals may result in severe form of dengue infection.
Author Summary
An estimated 50 to 100 million cases of dengue fever occur each year worldwide. Among these, there are 200,000 to 500,000 cases of life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Factors contributing to the development of DHF/DSS are not yet fully identified. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is prevalent in Southeast Asian countries where dengue is also endemic. Besides affecting normal function of erythrocytes, G6PD deficiency also affects other cells by causing abnormal cellular redox. Altered redox state of cells may render them less effective in clearing up microbial and viral infections. Here we confirm previous findings that monocytes from G6PD-deficinet individuals support better dengue virus replication. In addition, we show that reduced production of reactive oxygen, and nitrogen species and elevated levels of oxidative stress are responsible for the enhanced viral replication. We suggest that redox imbalance observed in infected monocytes from G6PD-deficient individuals may facilitate dengue transmission and affect clinical outcome. However, a handful of studies carried out in areas where both G6PD deficiency and dengue are endemic, reveal no statistically significant correlation between severity of Dengue and G6PD deficiency. Well-designed studies are needed to demonstrate that G6PD-deficient individuals are at risk of severe dengue.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002711
PMCID: PMC3953068  PMID: 24625456
22.  Immunologic hypo- or non-responder in natural dengue virus infection 
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.
doi:10.1186/1423-0127-20-34
PMCID: PMC3680176  PMID: 23725050
Nonresponder; Naïve; Flavivirus; Dengue fever; DHF
23.  Evaluation of the Traditional and Revised WHO Classifications of Dengue Disease Severity 
Dengue is a major public health problem worldwide and continues to increase in incidence. Dengue virus (DENV) infection leads to a range of outcomes, including subclinical infection, undifferentiated febrile illness, Dengue Fever (DF), life-threatening syndromes with fluid loss and hypotensive shock, or other severe manifestations such as bleeding and organ failure. The long-standing World Health Organization (WHO) dengue classification and management scheme was recently revised, replacing DF, Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF), and Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS) with Dengue without Warning Signs, Dengue with Warning Signs (abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, fluid accumulation, mucosal bleeding, lethargy, liver enlargement, increasing hematocrit with decreasing platelets) and Severe Dengue (SD; dengue with severe plasma leakage, severe bleeding, or organ failure). We evaluated the traditional and revised classification schemes against clinical intervention levels to determine how each captures disease severity using data from five years (2005–2010) of a hospital-based study of pediatric dengue in Managua, Nicaragua. Laboratory-confirmed dengue cases (n = 544) were categorized using both classification schemes and by level of care (I–III). Category I was out-patient care, Category II was in-patient care that did not meet criteria for Category III, which included ICU admission, ventilation, administration of inotropic drugs, or organ failure. Sensitivity and specificity to capture Category III care for DHF/DSS were 39.0% and 75.5%, respectively; sensitivity and specificity for SD were 92.1% and 78.5%, respectively. In this data set, DENV-2 was found to be significantly associated with DHF/DSS; however, this association was not observed with the revised classification. Among dengue-confirmed cases, the revised WHO classification for severe dengue appears to have higher sensitivity and specificity to identify cases in need of heightened care, although it is no longer as specific for a particular pathogenic entity as was the traditional schema.
Author Summary
Dengue is a mosquito-transmitted viral disease that is a major public health problem worldwide. Dengue virus (DENV) infection leads to Dengue Fever (DF) and a spectrum of life-threatening syndromes with fluid loss and hypotensive shock or other severe manifestations. Recently, the traditional World Health Organization (WHO) dengue classification scheme (classic DF, Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF), and Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS)) was replaced with Dengue without Warning Signs, Dengue with Warning Signs and Severe Dengue (SD). Using data from 544 laboratory-confirmed dengue cases recruited over five years of a hospital-based study of pediatric dengue in Managua, Nicaragua, we evaluated the traditional and revised classification schemes against clinical intervention levels (I–III) to determine how each captures disease severity. The sensitivity and specificity to capture Category III care for DHF/DSS were 39.0% and 75.5%, respectively, and for SD were 92.1% and 78.5%, respectively. Interestingly, DENV-2 was significantly associated with DHF/DSS; however, this association was not observed with the revised classification. This study indicates that among dengue-confirmed cases, the revised WHO classification appears to have higher sensitivity and specificity for identifying cases in need of heightened care, although it is no longer as specific for a particular pathogenic entity as was the traditional schema.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001397
PMCID: PMC3210746  PMID: 22087348
24.  Invariant NKT Cell Response to Dengue Virus Infection in Human 
Background
Dengue viral infection is a global health threat without vaccine or specific treatment. The clinical outcome varies from asymptomatic, mild dengue fever (DF) to severe dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). While adaptive immune responses were found to be detrimental in the dengue pathogenesis, the roles of earlier innate events remain largely uninvestigated. Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells represent innate-like T cells that could dictate subsequent adaptive response but their role in human dengue virus infection is not known. We hypothesized that iNKT cells play a role in human dengue infection.
Methods
Blood samples from a well-characterized cohort of children with DF, DHF, in comparison to non-dengue febrile illness (OFI) and healthy controls at various time points were studied. iNKT cells activation were analyzed by the expression of CD69 by flow cytometry. Their cytokine production was then analyzed after α-GalCer stimulation. Further, the CD1d expression on monocytes, and CD69 expression on conventional T cells were measured.
Results
iNKT cells were activated during acute dengue infection. The level of iNKT cell activation associates with the disease severity. Furthermore, these iNKT cells had altered functional response to subsequent ex vivo stimulation with α-GalCer. Moreover, during acute dengue infection, monocytic CD1d expression was also upregulated and conventional T cells also became activated.
Conclusion
iNKT cells might play an early and critical role in the pathogenesis of severe dengue viral infection in human. Targeting iNKT cells and CD1d serve as a potential therapeutic strategy for severe dengue infection in the future.
Author Summary
Almost half of the world population is at risk of dengue viral infection. The disease severity varies from mild to a deadly form-which is caused mainly by host overt immune reaction. Earlier studies focused on the disease-causing roles of adaptive immune cells - cells that are highly specific but require time and signal from rapidly activating immune cells to become active. Invariant Natural Killer T (iNKT) cells are unique T cells that get activated rapidly and can control later adaptive response by secreting cytokines. They can be activated by lipid loaded on CD1d, an antigen presenting molecule. However, their role in human dengue infection was not known. Here, we studied iNKT cells from dengue infected children and found that they were activated. Importantly, the more severe the disease, the higher level of iNKT cells activation. Their cytokine patterns also differ from those of healthy donors. Moreover, together with iNKT cells activation, the level of CD1d was higher and T cells became active. Therefore, iNKT cells likely play a role in the pathogenesis of human dengue infection. New drugs targeting iNKT cells might help dampen the disease severity before the adaptive immune cells become too active.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002955
PMCID: PMC4063705  PMID: 24945350
25.  Host Gene Expression Profiling of Dengue Virus Infection in Cell Lines and Patients 
Background
Despite the seriousness of dengue-related disease, with an estimated 50–100 million cases of dengue fever and 250,000–500,000 cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome each year, a clear understanding of dengue pathogenesis remains elusive. Because of the lack of a disease model in animals and the complex immune interaction in dengue infection, the study of host response and immunopathogenesis is difficult. The development of genomics technology, microarray and high throughput quantitative PCR have allowed researchers to study gene expression changes on a much broader scale. We therefore used this approach to investigate the host response in dengue virus-infected cell lines and in patients developing dengue fever.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Using microarray and high throughput quantitative PCR method to monitor the host response to dengue viral replication in cell line infection models and in dengue patient blood samples, we identified differentially expressed genes along three major pathways; NF-κB initiated immune responses, type I interferon (IFN) and the ubiquitin proteasome pathway. Among the most highly upregulated genes were the chemokines IP-10 and I-TAC, both ligands of the CXCR3 receptor. Increased expression of IP-10 and I-TAC in the peripheral blood of ten patients at the early onset of fever was confirmed by ELISA. A highly upregulated gene in the IFN pathway, viperin, was overexpressed in A549 cells resulting in a significant reduction in viral replication. The upregulation of genes in the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway prompted the testing of proteasome inhibitors MG-132 and ALLN, both of which reduced viral replication.
Conclusion/Significance
Unbiased gene expression analysis has identified new host genes associated with dengue infection, which we have validated in functional studies. We showed that some parts of the host response can be used as potential biomarkers for the disease while others can be used to control dengue viral replication, thus representing viable targets for drug therapy.
Author Summary
Dengue is the most prevalent mosquito-born viral disease affecting humans, yet there is, at present, no drug treatment for the disease nor are there any validated host targets for therapeutic intervention. Using microarray technology to monitor the response of virtually every human gene, we aimed to identify the ways in which humans interact with dengue virus during infection in order to discover new therapeutic targets that could be exploited to control viral replication. From the activated genes, we identified three pathways common to in vitro and in vivo infection; the NF-κB initiated immune pathway, the type I interferon pathway, and the ubiquitin proteasome pathway. We next found that inhibiting the ubiquitin proteasome pathway, or activating the type I interferon pathway, resulted in significant inhibition of viral replication. However, inhibiting the NF-κB initiated immune pathway had no effect on viral replication. We suggest that drugs that target the ubiquitin proteasome pathway may prove effective at killing the dengue virus, and, if used therapeutically, improve clinical outcome in dengue disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000086
PMCID: PMC2100376  PMID: 18060089

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