Lack of Durable Cross-Neutralizing Antibodies Against Zika Virus from Dengue Virus Infection

Emerg Infect Dis. 2017 May;23(5):773-781. doi: 10.3201/eid2305.161630.


Cross-reactive antibodies elicited by dengue virus (DENV) infection might affect Zika virus infection and confound serologic tests. Recent data demonstrate neutralization of Zika virus by monoclonal antibodies or human serum collected early after DENV infection. Whether this finding is true in late DENV convalescence (>6 months after infection) is unknown. We studied late convalescent serum samples from persons with prior DENV or Zika virus exposure. Despite extensive cross-reactivity in IgG binding, Zika virus neutralization was not observed among primary DENV infections. We observed low-frequency (23%) Zika virus cross-neutralization in repeat DENV infections. DENV-immune persons who had Zika virus as a secondary infection had distinct populations of antibodies that neutralized DENVs and Zika virus, as shown by DENV-reactive antibody depletion experiments. These data suggest that most DENV infections do not induce durable, high-level Zika virus cross-neutralizing antibodies. Zika virus-specific antibody populations develop after Zika virus infection irrespective of prior DENV immunity.

Keywords: DENV; Zika virus; cross-neutralizing antibodies; dengue virus; flaviviruses; vector-borne infections; viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cross Reactions / immunology*
  • Dengue / immunology*
  • Dengue / virology
  • Dengue Virus / classification
  • Dengue Virus / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immune Sera / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Serogroup
  • Zika Virus / immunology*
  • Zika Virus Infection / immunology*
  • Zika Virus Infection / virology


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immune Sera
  • Immunoglobulin G