Dengue vaccine development: strategies and challenges

Viral Immunol. 2015 Mar;28(2):76-84. doi: 10.1089/vim.2014.0093. Epub 2014 Dec 10.


Infection with dengue virus may result in dengue fever or a more severe outcome, such as dengue hemorrhagic syndrome/shock. Dengue virus infection poses a threat to endemic regions for four reasons: the presence of four serotypes, each with the ability to cause a similar disease outcome, including fatality; difficulties related to vector control; the lack of specific treatment; and the nonavailability of a suitable vaccine. Vaccine development is considered challenging due to the severity of the disease observed in individuals who have acquired dengue-specific immunity, either passively or actively. Therefore, the presence of vaccine-induced immunity against a particular serotype may prime an individual to severe disease on exposure to dengue virus. Vaccine development strategies include live attenuated vaccines, chimeric, DNA-based, subunit, and inactivated vaccines. Each of the candidates is in various stages of preclinical and clinical development. Issues pertaining to selection pressures, viral interaction, and safety still need to be evaluated in order to induce a complete protective immune response against all four serotypes. This review highlights the various strategies that have been employed in vaccine development, and identifies the obstacles to producing a safe and effective vaccine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dengue / epidemiology
  • Dengue / prevention & control*
  • Dengue Vaccines / immunology*
  • Dengue Vaccines / isolation & purification*
  • Dengue Virus / immunology*
  • Drug Discovery / trends
  • Humans


  • Dengue Vaccines