Transient CD4/CD8 ratio inversion and aberrant immune activation during dengue virus infection

J Med Virol. 2002 Oct;68(2):241-52. doi: 10.1002/jmv.10198.


The immune status after dengue virus infection was studied in dengue patients from an outbreak of serotype 3 dengue virus infection in the southern part of Taiwan during November and December 1998. Consecutive blood samples from 29 dengue patients, of whom 21 had dengue fever and 8 had dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome, were collected, and the immunophenotypes of the peripheral blood mononuclear cells were determined by flow cytometry. The early activation marker CD69 appeared on lymphocytes and monocytes at day 4 after the onset of fever, and declined afterward. However, a transient reverse in the CD4/CD8 ratio occurred at days 6-10 after the onset of fever. The CD4/CD8 ratio inversion was manifested in 10 of 29 dengue patients and was encountered more frequently in dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome than in dengue fever patients. Analysis of the clinical blood cell count of these 10 cases showed that increase of immature neutrophils developed at fever days 5-6, CD4(dim) or CD8(dim) monocytosis at days 6-7, and atypical lymphocytosis at days 8-10 after the onset of fever. Serum IL-6 was found at either day 7 or day 9-11. The PHA-stimulated T-cell response was depressed as well. These changes in immune parameters indicate aberrant immune activation during dengue virus infection and might be involved in the pathogenesis of dengue virus infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / blood
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / blood
  • CD4-CD8 Ratio*
  • Dengue / epidemiology
  • Dengue / etiology
  • Dengue / immunology*
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Lymphocytosis / etiology
  • Lymphocytosis / immunology
  • Phytohemagglutinins / pharmacology
  • Severe Dengue / epidemiology
  • Severe Dengue / etiology
  • Severe Dengue / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Taiwan
  • Time Factors


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • CD69 antigen
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Phytohemagglutinins