Association between dengue severity and plasma levels of dengue-specific IgE and chymase

Arch Virol. 2018 Sep;163(9):2337-2347. doi: 10.1007/s00705-018-3849-z. Epub 2018 May 4.


There is no definitive predictor of dengue severity, and this has led to a very large number of unnecessary hospitalizations worldwide. Although mast cell mediators are believed to a play role in dengue severity, the lack of precise kinetic data demands further research on early predictors. We enrolled 111 patients with confirmed dengue and 85 with "other febrile illness" (OFI) in a hospital-based prospective study in Vietnam. Dengue patients were classified as level 1, 2, or 3 based on the clinical intervention received. Blood samples were collected from each patient every day (pre- and post-defervescence) and after discharge. Plasma chymase, total IgE, and dengue-specific IgE were measured. Dengue-specific IgE levels showed an increasing trend during the course of illness and remained high even at post-discharge, although no significant difference was observed among severity levels. Total IgE showed no such trend. The specific IgE/total IgE ratio (S/T ratio) remained constantly higher in level 3 patients compared to other levels, with a significant difference at some time points. The S/T ratio of acute phase samples (before defervescence) tended to increase with increasing severity (level 1 < 2 < 3), and was significantly higher in level 3 patients than in level 1 and OFI patients. As an early predictor of severity allowing level 3 patients to be distinguished from other dengue patients, the S/T ratio achieved a sensitivity of 75% and specificity of 68%. We describe the kinetic profiles of IgEs, their ratio, and chymase levels at different severity levels. The S/T ratio was found to be associated with dengue severity, suggesting that it could potentially be used as an early predictor of severity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Child
  • Chymases / blood*
  • Convalescence
  • Dengue Virus / immunology*
  • Dengue Virus / pathogenicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severe Dengue / blood
  • Severe Dengue / diagnosis*
  • Severe Dengue / immunology
  • Severe Dengue / pathology
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Biomarkers
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Chymases