Adaptive immune responses to primary and secondary dengue virus infections

Nature Reviews Immunology
Volume 19 Issue 4, April 2019

Review Article | 24 January 2019
Adaptive immune responses to primary and secondary dengue virus infections
The existence of four different serotypes of dengue virus poses a challenge to vaccine development, as pre-existing immunity can lead to severe disease during infection with a heterologous serotype. This Review analyses the mechanisms of protective and pathological adaptive immune responses in primary and secondary dengue infection.
Ashley L. St. John  & Abhay P. S. Rathore

Dengue is the leading mosquito-borne viral illness infecting humans. Owing to the circulation of multiple serotypes, global expansion of the disease and recent gains in vaccination coverage, pre-existing immunity to dengue virus is abundant in the human population, and secondary dengue infections are common. Here, we contrast the mechanisms initiating and sustaining adaptive immune responses during primary infection with the immune pathways that are pre-existing and reactivated during secondary dengue. We also discuss new developments in our understanding of the contributions of CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells and antibodies to immunity and memory recall. Memory recall may lead to protective or pathological outcomes, and understanding of these processes will be key to developing or refining dengue vaccines to be safe and effective.