Aaron A. King, Ph.D.

Nelson G. Hairston Collegiate Professor of
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Complex Systems, and Mathematics
University of Michigan

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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