Published On: Fri, Dec 19th, 2014

Antibody Capable Of Neutralizing The Dengue Virus

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Imperial College London

Imperial College London

A team of scientists from the Imperial College London have discovered a new class of antibodies capable of neutralizing the four ways in which the dengue virus manifests, published today The British journal “Nature Immunology” .

This new type of antibodies found in humans, which also neutralizes the initial state of this virus in mosquitoes, could lead to the development of effective vaccines and treatments to combat the disease. Dengue fever is a virus transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes “aedes” family and infects about 400 million people each year, especially in tropical and subtropical areas of the world and one of the main problems with the virus, is that there are many types of dengue and the fact of having had one of them, does not immunize the rest.


In the report, the investigators note that the geographical spread of dengue is increasing because there has been an increased number of cases in Latin America and Australia, and could be extended to southern Europe.

 The lead researcher, Professor Gavin Screaton of Imperial College, said in a teleconference with reporters, that has taken more than ten years of study of the virus and said he does not believe that dengue can be controlled until a vaccine is developed. Screaton also noted that the development of a vaccine could take “considerable” time, because first has to be produced and tested it in nonhuman models.

Regarding virus penetration in Latin America, Screaton mentioned that although “there have been countries that have done good practices”, they have not prevented some severe outbreaks.

 Therefore, regarding measures to prevent the spread on a large scale, Screaton highlighted the importance of good practices, such as to fumigation, cleaning of deposits and not to store garbage in cities or in areas conducive to mosquito develops.

For the study, the team of scientists analyzed 145 samples of antibodies from patients who had been infected and developed an immune box. Thus, they found a number of antibodies that are effective neutralizing the virus.

The discovery opens the door to developing a future universal vaccine against dengue, although researchers nuance that still need to understand the human immune response to natural infections and see what their response to the post vaccination. Dengue causes high fever, headache, vomiting and skin rashes, and can be fatal in the hemorrhagic form.

Special rooms set up for dengue patients at Nishtar Hospital Photo:

Special rooms set up for dengue patients at Nishtar Hospital

The World Health Organisation reports that 2.5 billion people, -more than 40 per cent of the world’s population- is at risk from dengue.

JJ Argáez/The Yucatan Times

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