A dengue vaccine may be developed thanks to new antibody discovery
Each year, more than 390 million people are affected by this mosquito-borne virus. It is a potentially deadly virus. However, researchers announced that they may find a way in developing a dengue vaccine.
Dr. James Crowe Jr., from the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and his colleagues, have found an antibody that stopped the virus from binding to target cells in mouse models. Scientists are working on developing new antiviral drugs.
mosquitoes can infect a person with dengue. The virus has 4 serotypes, known as DENV1-4. Symptoms of dengue are: severe headache, fever, pain behind the eyes, joint pain and bone and muscle pain. A most severe type of disease is known as DHF (dengue hemorrhagic fever). Symptoms are: abdominal pain, breathing problems, vomiting and prolonged fever. According to the WHO (World Health Organization) more than 22.000 people die from dengue every year. Most of them are children.
Now, there are no treatments and cure. Patients can get painkillers (acetaminophen) and fluid replacement therapy. These treatments are effective only if disease is identified early.
Currently, doctors have problems in treating this disease. Each serotype consists of completely different antigens. This means that antibodies can be effective against just one serotype. They cannot affect on all 4. However, these antibodies can react and increase the risk of DHF.
A 2D22 antibody, can prevent dengue infection. This antibody can bind with several different proteins of the DENV2 serotype. In mouse models, it stopped the infection. Researchers also found that this antibody reduces the risk of second dengue serotype infection. They said that this antibody is a potential target for therapeutics and vaccines.