Immune response to dengue virus
Dr Widodo Judarwanto pediatrician
Dengue virus (DENV) is a mosquito-borne member of the Flavivirus genus and includes four serotypes (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4), each of which is capable of causing dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome. Serious disease can be seen during primary infection but is more frequent following second infection with a serotype different from that of a previous infection.
Infection with wild-type DENV induces high-titered neutralizing antibody that can provide long-term immunity to the homotypic virus and can provide short-term immunity (only several months duration) to a heterotypic DENV. The high level of virus replication seen during both secondary infection with a heterotypic virus and during primary DENV infection in late infancy is a direct consequence of antibody-dependent enhancement of replication.
This enhanced virus replication is mediated primarily by preexisting, nonneutralizing, or subneutralizing antibodies to the virion surface antigens that enhance access of the virion-antibody complex to FcγR-bearing cells.
A large body of work has demonstrated that antibodies can neutralize or enhance DENV infection. Investigators have mainly used mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to study interactions between DENV and antibodies. These studies indicate that antibody neutralization of DENVs is a “multi-hit” phenomenon that requires the binding of multiple antibodies to neutralize a virion. The most potently neutralizing mouse MAbs bind to surface exposed epitopes on domain III of the dengue envelope (E) protein. One challenge facing the dengue field now is to extend these studies with mouse MAbs to better understand the human antibody response. The human antibody response is complex as it involves a polyclonal response to primary and secondary infections with 4 different DENV serotypes.
These studies conducted with immune sera and MAbs isolated from people exposed to dengue infections. Most dengue-specific antibodies in human immune sera are weakly neutralizing and bind to multiple DENV serotypes. The human antibodies that potently and type specifically neutralize DENV represent a small fraction of the total DENV-specific antibody response. Moreover, these neutralizing antibodies appear to bind to novel epitopes including complex, quaternary epitopes that are only preserved on the intact virion. These studies establish that human and mouse antibodies recognize distinct epitopes on the dengue virion. The leading theory proposed to explain the increased risk of severe disease in secondary cases is antibody dependent enhancement (ADE), which postulates that weakly neutralizing antibodies from the first infection bind to the second serotype and enhance infection of FcγR bearing myeloid cells such as monocytes and macrophages. Here we review results from human, animal and cell culture studies relevant to the ADE hypothesis. By understanding how human antibodies neutralize or enhance DENV, it will be possible to better evaluate existing vaccines and develop the next generation of novel vaccines.
Human Immune Response
Human natural killer (NK) cells lyse dengue virus-infected cells to a greater degree than uninfected cells. Antibodies to dengue viruses augment the lysis of dengue virus-infected cells by NK cells. Dengue virus-infected monocytes produce high levels of interferon alpha (IFN alpha). DR+ lymphocytes also produce high levels of IFN alpha after contact with dengue virus-infected monocytes. The IFN alpha produced protects uninfected monocytes from dengue virus infection. These results suggest that NK cells and IFN alpha may play an important role in controlling primary dengue virus infection. Dengue virus-specific CD4+CD8(-)T lymphocytes and CD4(-)CD8+T lymphocytes are present in the peripheral blood mononuclear cell population from donors who were infected with dengue virus. Most of CD4+T lymphocytes are dengue serotype-crossreactive. They lyse dengue virus-infected autologous cells in an HLA class II-restricted fashion, and produce interferon gamma (IFN gamma). IFN gamma augments dengue virus infection of monocytic cells in the presence of antidengue virus antibodies by increasing the number of Fc gamma receptors. Dengue virus-specific CD8+T lymphocytes lyse dengue virus-infected autologous cells in an HLA class I-restricted fashion. These CD8+T lymphocytes are also dengue serotype-crossreactive.
Public health concern about dengue diseases, caused by mosquito-borne infections with four serotypes of dengue virus (DENV-1-DENV-4), is escalating in tropical and subtropical countries. The four serotypes of dengue virus (a mosquito-borne flavivirus) cause an acute febrile illness (dengue fever) or a more prolonged illness with plasma leakage resulting in hypovolemia (dengue hemorrhagic fever). Hemorrhage may accompany either. Epidemiologic data suggest a role for dengue antibodies in pathogenesis. Computer analysis revealed a 20-residue region of similarity in amino acid sequence between the dengue type 4 envelope glycoprotein (E) and a family of clotting factors, including plasminogen, the prime mediator of fibrinolysis. By use of synthetic peptides in ELISA, E antibodies that potentially bind plasminogen were detected in 75% of 40 Thai patients acutely infected with dengue virus type 1, 2, 3, or 4. Plasminogen cross-reactivity of dengue antibodies was shown to be specific for the related sites in E and plasminogen. The dengue E sequence with similarity to plasminogen is largely conserved within the currently known flavivirus E sequences. However, 15 Thai patients hospitalized for illness caused by Japanese encephalitis virus (a flavivirus not associated with hemorrhage) did not develop plasminogen- cross-reactive antibodies, and this finding correlated with failure of Japanese encephalitis virus antibodies to bind to the plasminogen-cross-reactive site in E.
Most of the severe dengue cases occur in patients experiencing a secondary infection with a serotype that is different from the first infection. This is believed to be due to antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), by which one DENV serotype uses pre-existing anti-DENV antibodies elicited in the primary infection to facilitate entry of a different DENV serotype into the Fc receptor-positive macrophages. Recently, we prepared a number of hybridomas producing human monoclonal antibodies (HuMAbs) by using peripheral blood lymphocytes from Thai patients at acute phase of secondary infection with DENV-2. Here, we characterized 17 HuMAbs prepared from two patients with dengue fever (DF) and one patient with dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) that were selected as antibodies recognizing viral envelope protein and showing higher neutralization activity to all serotypes. In vivo evaluation using suckling mice revealed near perfect activity to prevent mouse lethality following intracerebral DENV-2 inoculation. In a THP-1 cell assay, these HuMAbs showed ADE activities against DENV-2 at similar levels between HuMAbs derived from DF and DHF patients. However, the F(ab’)2 fragment of the HuMAb showed a similar virus neutralization activity as original, with no ADE activity. Thus, these HuMAbs could be one of the therapeutic candidates against DENV infection.
Interferon-Dependent Immunity Is Essential for Resistance to Primary Dengue Virus Infection
IFN-α/β is critical for early immune responses to DEN infection, IFN-γ-mediated immune responses are crucial for both early and late clearance of DEN infection in mice, and the IFN system plays a more important role than T- and B-cell-dependent immunity in resistance to primary DEN infection in mice. Dengue virus (DEN) causes dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome, which are major public health problems worldwide. The immune factors that control DEN infection or contribute to severe disease are neither well understood nor easy to examine in humans. In this study, we used wild-type and congenic mice lacking various components of the immune system to study the immune mechanisms in the response to DEN infection. In these study demonstrate that alpha/beta interferon (IFN-α/β) and IFN-γ receptors have critical, nonoverlapping functions in resolving primary DEN infection. Furthermore, Study show that IFN-α/β receptor-mediated action limits initial DEN replication in extraneural sites and controls subsequent viral spread into the central nervous system (CNS). In contrast, IFN-γ receptor-mediated responses seem to act at later stages of DEN disease by restricting viral replication in the periphery and eliminating virus from the CNS. Mice deficient in B, CD4+ T, or CD8+ T cells had no increased susceptibility to DEN; however, RAG mice (deficient in both B and T cells) were partially susceptible to DEN infection.
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