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J Virol. 2012 May;86(10):5508-14. doi: 10.1128/JVI.07081-11. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

The magnitude of dengue virus NS1 protein secretion is strain dependent and does not correlate with severe pathologies in the mouse infection model.

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Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore, Singapore.


There are conflicting data on the relationship between the level of secreted NS1 (sNS1), viremia, and disease severity upon dengue virus (DENV) infection in the clinical setting, and therefore, we examined this relationship in the widely accepted AG129 mouse model. Because of the failure of a routinely used NS1 detection kit to detect sNS1 of the mouse-adapted DENV2 strain, we screened 15 previously undescribed NS1 monoclonal antibodies and developed a robust capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with detection sensitivity at the low nanogram level (0.2 ng/ml) using recombinant baculovirus-expressed sNS1 as well as sNS1 that was immunoaffinity purified from the various DENV2 strains employed in this study. Using this test, we demonstrated that increased viremia paralleled severe pathologies; however, sNS1 level did not correlate with viremia or severity. Furthermore, among the DENV2 strains that were tested, the level of NS1 secretion did not correspond to virus replication rate in vitro, at the cellular level. Together, our data indicate that the magnitude of NS1 secretion appears to be strain dependent and does not correlate with viral virulence in the AG129 mouse model.

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