The Scientist Magazine - "Dengue Infection Impairs Immune Defense Against Zika" - Catherin Offord

New York, NY
 – August 18, 2017  –– 

Previous exposure to dengue virus could dampen a patient’s immune system response to Zika, and potentially even aid infection, according to recent work carried out by US researchers. The study’s findings help make the case that Zika vaccine development should focus on portions of the E protein that do not show substantial overlap with that of the dengue virus, in order to avoid triggering the memory B cell response in dengue-exposed patients. “The data is very pertinent for the vaccine efforts for Zika,” said Jean Lim, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who recently demonstrated ADE occurring in a mouse model of concurrent dengue and Zika infection. While ADE for Zika has yet to be shown in humans, the results suggest that although “a Zika vaccine may be safe in areas where dengue does not circulate currently, the efficacy of a vaccine administered in dengue-endemic regions would be vastly different,” Dr. Lim added.

-Jean Lim, PhD, Assistant Professor, Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 

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