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Arch Virol Suppl. 1994;9:59-64.

Immunopathologic mechanisms of dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome.

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Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester.


Dengue virus infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. The immunopathological mechanisms that result in severe complications of dengue virus infection, i.e. dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), are important to determine. Primary dengue virus infections induce serotype-specific and serotype-cross-reactive, CD4+ and CD8+ memory cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). In secondary infections with a virus of a different serotype from that which caused primary infections, the presence of cross-reactive non-neutralizing antibodies results in an increased number of infected monocytes by dengue virus--antibody complexes. This in turn results in marked activation of serotype cross-reactive CD4+ and CD8+ memory CTL. We hypothesize that the rapid release of cytokines and chemical mediators caused by T cell activation and by CTL-mediated lysis of dengue virus-infected monocytes triggers the plasma leakage and hemorrhage that occurs in DHF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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