Dengue virus study provides new foundation for understanding DENV infection


DENV are major re-emerging pathogens that are endemic in all continents except Europe and Antarctica with over half of the world’s population at risk of infection. DENV is the most common human arboviral infection and the most important public health threat. It is believed to be transmitted by mosquito-borne viral pathogens. It causes an estimated 50 million cases of dengue infection, half a million hospitalizations, and approximately 15,000 deaths.

According to Dr. Kelli L. Barr, author of Dengue Serotypes 1-4 Exhibit Unique Host Specificity In Vitro, "The central message of our work is that if some dengue viruses grow well in various animal tissues (cell lines) then perhaps animals play a bigger role than we now believe in the preservation and spread of dengue viruses. Our data support other reports that show that bats may serve as hosts for dengue virus and that dengue serotypes exploit unique cell entry pathways. Perhaps there is much more to learn about dengue viruses and wild and domestic animal hosts."

Although there is only a single strain of DENV, multiple serotypes have been observed to occupy the same biospace, i.e. present in the same individual and/or in a single endemic region. These apparently contradictory observations have confounded researchers for many years. The study by Barr et al. presented in the current issue of Virus Adaptation and Treatment suggest a solution to this conundrum.

"Specifically, the authors show that different serotypes of DENV tend to demonstrate cell-type specific infectivity profiles. These findings suggest a novel basis explaining how the same individual or population of individuals can be simultaneously infected with multiple serotypes of DENV. These findings provide a new foundation upon which our understanding of DENV infection and evolution may be built, and may provide new insights for treatment of this terrible disease," explains Dr. Jonathan Dinman, editor-in-cheif, Virus Adaptation and Treatment journal.

Virus Adaptation and Treatment is an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal focusing on the study of virology, viral adaptation and the development and use of antiviral drugs and vaccines to achieve improved outcomes in infection control and treatment.

Dove Medical Press Ltd is a privately held company specializing in the publication of Open Access peer-reviewed journals across the broad spectrum of science, technology and especially medicine.

Updated 23 July 2014