Elisabeth Manville
Apr 11, 2012

Researchers identify how human antibodies overcome dengue virus

Through studying humans who have been infected with the dengue virus, scientists have pinpointed the region on the virus that is neutralized in those who beat the infection. This finding could be a significant step in the development of a dengue vaccine. Previously, researchers had relied on mouse studies to understand the virus. By analyzing the blood cells of locals who had contracted the virus on their travels, University of North Carolina researchers found that, unlike in mice, human antibodies that neutralized the virus bound to a complex structure that was only present on a completely assembled dengue virus. “Our study for the first time shows what region the immune system of humans target when they are fighting off the virus, senior study author Aravinda M. de Silva said. “The region on the virus targeted by the human immune system is quite different from the region targeted by mice.”