Author(s): Kliks SC, Nisalak A, Brandt WE, Wahl L, Burke DS
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Abstract Serum specimens collected during a prospective study of dengue infections among schoolchildren in Bangkok were tested for their ability to enhance dengue 2 (DEN-2) virus growth in human monocytes in vitro. Two groups of dengue-immune sera were compared: 32 dengue antibody positive serum specimens from children who subsequently developed asymptomatic secondary dengue infections; and 9 dengue antibody positive serum specimens from children who subsequently developed severe symptomatic secondary dengue infections, 8 of which were clinically diagnosed as dengue hemorrhagic fever. Antibody-dependent enhancement of virus growth was quantitated by measurement of virus yields in supernatant fluids of normal human monocyte cultures that were infected with DEN-2 virus in the presence of undiluted test serum. Only 4 of 32 (12\%) preinfection sera from asymptomatic children, but 6 of 9 (67\%) preinfection sera from symptomatic children, had significant enhancing activity (P less than 0.001). High serum DEN-2 antibody dependent enhancing activity is a significant (relative risk = 6.2) risk factor for severe illness among children in a dengue hemorrhagic fever endemic region. Dengue antibodies can be neutralizing and therefore protective, or they can be enhancing and increase the risk of dengue hemorrhagic fever.
This article was published in Am J Trop Med Hyg
and referenced in Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination