Aaron A. King, Ph.D.

Nelson G. Hairston Collegiate Professor of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology,
and Complex Systems, University of Michigan
External Professor, Santa Fe Institute
Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Interactions between serotypes of dengue highlight epidemiological impact of cross-immunity

N. G. Reich, S. Shrestha, A. A. King, P. Rohani, J. Lessler, S. Kalayanarooj, I.-K. Yoon, R. V. Gibbons, D. S. Burke, and D. A. T. Cummings
Journal of the Royal Society, Interface 10(86): 20130414, 2013.

Dengue, a mosquito-borne virus of humans, infects over 50 million people annually. Infection with any of the four dengue serotypes induces protective immunity to that serotype, but does not confer long-term protection against infection by other serotypes. The immunological interactions between serotypes are of central importance in understanding epidemiological dynamics and anticipating the impact of dengue vaccines. We analysed a 38-year time series with 12 197 serotyped dengue infections from a hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Using novel mechanistic models to represent different hypothesized immune interactions between serotypes, we found strong evidence that infection with dengue provides substantial short-term cross-protection against other serotypes (approx. 1–3 years). This is the first quantitative evidence that short-term cross-protection exists since human experimental infection studies performed in the 1950s. These findings will impact strategies for designing dengue vaccine studies, future multi-strain modelling efforts, and our understanding of evolutionary pressures in multi-strain disease systems.

The official version of the paper is here.   Please contact Prof. King if you'd like a reprint.

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