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Microbiol Spectr. 2014 Dec;2(6). doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.AID-0022-2014.

Dengue Antibody-Dependent Enhancement: Knowns and Unknowns.


Dengue provides the most abundant example in human medicine and the greatest human illness burden caused by the phenomenon of intrinsic antibody-dependent infection enhancement (iADE). In this immunopathological phenomenon infection of monocytes or macrophages using infectious immune complexes suppresses innate antiviral systems, permitting logarithmic intracellular growth of dengue virus. The four dengue viruses evolved from a common ancestor yet retain similar ecology and pathogenicity, but although infection with one virus provides short-term cross-protection against infection with a different type, millions of secondary dengue infections occur worldwide each year. When individuals are infected in the virtual absence of cross-protective dengue antibodies, the dengue vascular permeability syndrome (DVPS) may ensue. This occurs in around 2 to 4% of second heterotypic dengue infections. A complete understanding of the biologic mechanism of iADE, dengue biology, and the mechanism of host responses to dengue infection should lead to a comprehensive and complete understanding of the pathogenesis of DVPS. A crucial emphasis must be placed on understanding ADE. Clinical and epidemiological observations of DVPS define the research questions and provide research parameters. This article will review knowledge related to dengue ADE and point to areas where there has been little research progress. These observations relate to the two stages of dengue illnesses: afferent phenomena are those that promote the success of the microorganism to infect and survive; efferent phenomena are those mounted by the host to inhibit infection and replication and to eliminate the infectious agent and infected tissues. Data will be discussed as "knowns" and "unknowns."

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