Viral-Induced Enhanced Disease Illness

Front Microbiol. 2018 Dec 5;9:2991. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.02991. eCollection 2018.


Understanding immune responses to viral infections is crucial to progress in the quest for effective infection prevention and control. The host immunity involves various mechanisms to combat viral infections. Under certain circumstances, a viral infection or vaccination may result in a subverted immune system, which may lead to an exacerbated illness. Clinical evidence of enhanced illness by preexisting antibodies from vaccination, infection or maternal passive immunity is available for several viruses and is presumptively proposed for other viruses. Multiple mechanisms have been proposed to explain this phenomenon. It has been confirmed that certain infection- and/or vaccine-induced immunity could exacerbate viral infectivity in Fc receptor- or complement bearing cells- mediated mechanisms. Considering that antibody dependent enhancement (ADE) is a major obstacle in vaccine development, there are continues efforts to understand the underlying mechanisms through identification of the epitopes and antibodies responsible for disease enhancement or protection. This review discusses the recent findings on virally induced ADE, and highlights the potential mechanisms leading to this condition.

Keywords: Fc receptors; antibody-dependent enhancement; complement; immune response; viral infections.

Publication types

  • Review