Dengue is the most common mosquito-borne viral disease in humans. The spread of both mosquito vectors and viruses has led to the resurgence of epidemic dengue fever (a self-limited flu-like syndrome) and the emergence of dengue hemorrhagic fever (severe dengue with bleeding abnormalities) in urban centers of the tropics. There are no animal or laboratory models of dengue disease; indirect evidence suggests that dengue viruses differ in virulence, including their pathogenicities for humans and epidemic potential. We developed two assay systems (using human dendritic cells and Aedes aegypti mosquitoes) for measuring differences in virus replication that correlate with the potential to cause hemorrhagic dengue and increased virus transmission. Infection and growth experiments showed that dengue serotype 2 viruses causing dengue hemorrhagic fever epidemics (Southeast Asian genotype) can outcompete viruses that cause dengue fever only (American genotype). This fact implies that Southeast Asian genotype viruses will continue to displace other viruses, causing more hemorrhagic dengue epidemics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science