Immune response to dengue virus and prospects for a vaccine

Annu Rev Immunol. 2011;29:587-619. doi: 10.1146/annurev-immunol-031210-101315.


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. Vaccines will need to provide long-term protection against each of the four DENV serotypes by inducing neutralizing antibodies, and live, attenuated and various nonliving virus vaccines are in development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • Dengue / immunology*
  • Dengue / prevention & control*
  • Dengue Vaccines / immunology*
  • Dengue Virus / immunology*
  • Humans


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Dengue Vaccines