Dengue is the most important arboviral disease of humans with over half of the world’s population living in areas of risk. The frequency and magnitude of epidemic dengue have increased dramatically in the past 40 years as the viruses and the mosquito vectors have both expanded geographically in the tropical regions of the world. There are many factors that have contributed to this emergence of epidemic dengue, but only three have been the principal drivers: 1) urbanization, 2) globalization and 3) lack of effective mosquito control. The dengue viruses have fully adapted to a human-Aedes aegypti-human transmission cycle, in the large urban centers of the tropics, where crowded human populations live in intimate association with equally large mosquito populations. This setting provides the ideal home for maintenance of the viruses and the periodic generation of epidemic strains. These cities all have modern airports through which 10s of millions of passengers pass each year, providing the ideal mechanism for transportation of viruses to new cities, regions and continents where there is little or no effective mosquito control. The result is epidemic dengue. This paper discusses this unholy trinity of drivers, along with disease burden, prevention and control and prospects for the future.
Several dengue outbreaks occurred in Japan from 1942 to 1945. Dengue fever emerged in Nagasaki in August 1942 and soon spread to other cities such as Sasebo, Hiroshima, Kobe and Osaka, recurring every summer until 1945 and constituting the greatest outbreak in the temperate zone. Domestic outbreaks have not been reported in Japan since then. However, the number of imported dengue cases has increased year by year: 868 imported cases were reported in Japan between 1999 and 2010 according to the Infectious Diseases Control Law. Moreover, 406 imported cases were confirmed to be dengue virus infection among 768 dengue suspected cases received at NIID from 2003 to 2010. A total of 142 cases (35.6%), 103 cases (25.8%) and 62 cases (15.5%) were noted in the 20–29, 30–39 and 40–49 age groups, respectively. Infecting dengue virus serotypes were determined for 280 of the 406 cases. The number of cases infected with each of the 4 serotypes was 98 (35%) with type 1, 78 (28%) with type 3, 72 (26%) with type 2, and 32 (11%) with type 4. Sixty percent of dengue cases were imported from July to October, the summer vacation season in Japan.
The distribution of dengue vectors, Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus, is affected by climatic factors. In addition, since their life cycles are well adapted to the human environment, environmental changes resulting from human activity such as urbanization exert a great impact on vector distribution. The different responses of Ae. aegypti and Ae albopictus to various environments result in a difference in spatial distribution along north-south and urban-rural gradients, and between the indoors and outdoors. In the north-south gradient, climate associated with survival is an important factor in spatial distribution. In the urban-rural gradient, different distribution reflects a difference in adult niches and is modified by geographic and human factors. The direct response of the two species to the environment around houses is related to different spatial distribution indoors and outdoors. Dengue viruses circulate mainly between human and vector mosquitoes, and the vector presence is a limiting factor of transmission. Therefore, spatial distribution of dengue vectors is a significant concern in the epidemiology of the disease. Current technologies such as GIS, satellite imagery and statistical models allow researchers to predict the spatial distribution of vectors in the changing environment. Although it is difficult to confirm the actual effect of environmental and climate changes on vector abundance and vector-borne diseases, environmental changes caused by humans and human behavioral changes due to climate change can be expected to exert an impact on dengue vectors. Longitudinal monitoring of dengue vectors and viruses is therefore necessary.
Pathogenic viruses have RNA genomes that cause acute and chronic infections. These viruses replicate with high mutation rates and exhibit significant genetic diversity, so-called viral quasispecies. Viral quasispecies play an important role in chronic infectious diseases, but little is known about their involvement in acute infectious diseases such as dengue virus (DENV) infection. DENV, the most important human arbovirus, is a causative agent of dengue fever (DF) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). Accumulating observations suggest that DENV exists as an extremely diverse virus population, but its biological significance is unclear. In other virus diseases, quasispecies affect the therapeutic strategies using drugs and vaccines. Here, I describe the quasispecies of DENV and discuss the possible role of quasispecies in the pathogenesis of and therapeutic strategy against DENV infection in comparison with other viruses such as Hepatitis C virus, human immunodeficiency virus type 1, and poliovirus.
Dengue virus is an arthropod-borne virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Dengue virus causes fever and hemorrhagic disorders in humans and non-human primates. Direct interaction of the virus introduced by a mosquito bite with host receptor molecule(s) is crucial for virus propagation and the pathological progression of dengue diseases. Therefore, elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying the interaction between dengue virus and its receptor(s) in both humans and mosquitoes is essential for an understanding of dengue pathology. In addition, understanding the molecular mechanism(s) of virus entry is crucial for the development of effective new therapies to treat dengue patients. Binding of dengue virus to its receptor molecules is mediated through a viral envelope glycoprotein, termed E protein. We present a summary and describe the structures, binding properties, and pathological relevance of dengue virus receptor molecules proposed to date. In mammalian cells, there are many candidate molecules that may act as receptors, such as sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), lectins that recognize carbohydrates, glycosphingolipid (GSL), proteins with chaperone activity, laminin-binding proteins, and other uncharacterized proteins. There are also several lines of evidence for receptor molecules such as GSLs, proteins with chaperone activity, laminin-binding proteins, and other uncharacterized proteins in mosquito cells and organs. This review focuses on several molecules involved in carbohydrate-dependent binding of the virus.
Dengue virus (DENV) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in most tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Dengue virus infection induces specific CD4+CD8– and CD8+CD4– T cells in humans. In primary infection, T-cell responses to DENV are serotype cross-reactive, but the highest response is to the serotype that caused the infection. The epitopes recognized by DENV-specific T cells are located in most of the structural and non-structural proteins, but NS3 is the protein that is most dominantly recognized. In patients with dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) caused by secondary DENV infection, T cells are highly activated in vivo. These highly activated T cells are DENV-specific and oligoclonal. Multiple kinds of lymphokines are produced by the activated T cells, and it has been hypothesized that these lymphokines are responsible for induction of plasma leakage, one of the most characteristic features of DHF. Thus, T-cells play important roles in the pathogenesis of DHF and in the recovery from DENV infection.
Huge emphasis has been placed on the role of the adaptive immune system in dengue pathogenesis. Yet there is increasing evidence for the importance of the innate immune system in regulating dengue infection and possibly influencing the disease. This review focuses on the interplay between the innate immune system and dengue and highlights the role of soluble immunological mediators. Type I and type II interferons of the innate immune system demonstrate non-overlapping roles in dengue infection. Furthermore, while some IFN responses to dengue are protective, others may exert disease-related effects on the host. But aside from interferons, a number of cytokines have also been implicated in dengue pathogenesis. Our expanding knowledge of cytokines indicates that these soluble mediators act upon a complicated network of events to provoke the disease. This cytokine storm is generally attributed to massive T cell activation as an outcome of secondary infection. However, there is reason to believe that innate immune response-derived cytokines also have contributory effects, especially in the context of severe cases of primary dengue infection. Another less popular but interesting perspective on dengue pathogenesis is the effect of mosquito feeding on host immune responses and viral infection. Various studies have shown that soluble factors from vector saliva have the capacity to alter immune reactions and thereby influence pathogen transmission and establishment. Hence, modulation of the innate immune system at various levels of infection is a critical component of dengue disease. In the absence of an approved drug or vaccine for dengue, soluble mediators of the innate immune system could be a strategic foothold for developing anti-viral therapeutics and improving clinical management.
Dengue fever (DF) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) are mosquito-transmitted diseases of global importance. Despite significant research efforts, no approved vaccines or antiviral drugs against these diseases are currently available. This brief article reviews the status of dengue vaccine development, with particular emphasis on the vaccine strategies in more advanced stages of evaluation; these include traditional attenuation, chimerization and engineered attenuation. Several aspects of these vaccine design strategies, including concerns about vaccine candidates inducing infection-enhancing antibodies, are also presented.
Epidemiological evidence indicates that host genetic factors are relevant and predispose DHF/DSS development. Here, we review the host genetic studies concerning human leucocyte antigens, antibody receptors, immune/inflammatory mediators, attachment molecules, cytokines and other factors exerting an immunoregulatory effect as well as the current genome-wide association studies. We also discuss some viewpoints on future challenges related to the design of safe and effective prevention and treatment options.
Dengue is one of the most important mosquito-borne viral illnesses. The first DHF outbreak was reported from the Philippines in 1953. Initially it was endemic only in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific regions. After about 50 years from the first outbreak, it spread globally to almost every continent including North and South America, Australia and Africa. The majority of cases during the 50s to 80s were children, but today the disease affects both children and adults of all age groups. The disease is caused by dengue viruses that have four serotypes: dengue 1, dengue 2, dengue 3 and dengue 4. Primary infection usually results in milder illness, while more severe disease occurs in cases of repeated infection with different serotypes. In this paper clinical manifestations and management of dengue/DHF/DSS are summarized.