Dengue determinants: Necessities and challenges for universal dengue vaccine development

Rev Med Virol. 2023 Jan 22;e2425. doi: 10.1002/rmv.2425. Online ahead of print.


Dengue illness can range from mild illness to life-threatening haemorrhage. It is an Aedes-borne infectious disease caused by the dengue virus, which has four serotypes. Each serotype acts as an independent infectious agent. The antibodies against one serotype confer homotypic immunity but temporary protection against heterotypic infection. Dengue has become a growing health concern for up to one third of the world's population. Currently, there is no potent anti-dengue medicine, and treatment for severe dengue relies on intravenous fluid management and pain medications. The burden of dengue dramatically increases despite advances in vector control measures. These factors underscore the need for a vaccine. Various dengue vaccine strategies have been demonstrated, that is, live attenuated vaccine, inactivated vaccine, DNA vaccine, subunit vaccine, and viral-vector vaccines, some of which are at the stage of clinical testing. Unfortunately, the forefront candidate vaccine is less than satisfactory, and its performance depends on serostatus and age factors. The lessons from clinical studies depicted ambiguity concerning the efficacy of dengue vaccine. Our study highlighted that viral structural heterogeneity, epitope accessibility, autoimmune complications, genetic variants, genetic diversities, antigen competition, virulence variation, host-pathogen specific interaction, antibody-dependent enhancement, cross-reactive immunity among Flaviviruses, and host-susceptibility determinants not only influence infection outcomes but also hampered successful vaccine development. This review integrates dengue determinants allocated necessities and challenges, which would provide insight for universal dengue vaccine development.

Keywords: dengue pathogenesis; dengue vaccines; dengue virus; host susceptibility; immune response; immunopathology; viral determinants.

Publication types

  • Review