Dengue virus infection causes a wide range of diseases from dengue fever to life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS). The mechanisms involved in DHF/DSS pathogenesis remain unclear. Patient sera collected from an outbreak in southern Taiwan from November 1998 to January 1999 were studied. The presence of antibodies which cross-reacted with platelets could be detected in patient sera, and the isotype of these autoantibodies was IgM. The anti-platelet IgM levels were higher in DHF/DSS than in dengue fever patient sera in disease acute phase. These autoantibodies were still detectable in convalescent stage (1-3 weeks after acute phase) and even eight to nine months after illness. The platelet binding activity was not observed in other virus-infected patient sera tested. Further investigation showed that dengue patient sera caused platelet lysis in the presence of complement. The platelet cytotoxicity induced by DHF/DSS patient sera was higher than that by dengue fever sera. Dengue patient sera also inhibited platelet aggregation which, however, appeared to be not related to DHF/DSS development.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.