The Interplay of Dengue Virus Morphological Diversity and Human Antibodies

Trends Microbiol. 2016 Apr;24(4):284-293. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2015.12.004. Epub 2015 Dec 30.


Dengue virus (DENV) infects ∼400 million people annually, and there is no available vaccine or therapeutics. It is not clear why candidate vaccines provide only modest protection. In addition to the presence of four different dengue serotypes, there is also structural heterogeneity in DENV infectious particles, even within a strain. This severely complicates the development of vaccines and therapeutics. The currently known different morphologies of DENV are: immature, partially mature, compact mature, and expanded mature forms of the virus. In this review I describe these forms of the virus, their infectivity, and how antibodies could recognize these morphologies. I also discuss possible vaccine and antibody therapeutic formulations to protect against all morphologies.

Keywords: antibodies; dengue virus; morphologies; therapeutics; vaccines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology*
  • Antigenic Variation
  • Dengue / immunology*
  • Dengue / therapy
  • Dengue / virology*
  • Dengue Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Dengue Vaccines / chemistry
  • Dengue Vaccines / immunology
  • Dengue Virus / classification*
  • Dengue Virus / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Binding


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Dengue Vaccines