Genotype-specific neutralization and protection by antibodies against dengue virus type 3

James D. Brien, S. Kyle Austin, Soila Sukupolvi-Petty, Katie M. O'Brien, Syd Johnson, Daved H. Fremont, Michael S. Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


Dengue viruses (DENV) comprise a family of related positive-strand RNA viruses that infect up to 100 million people annually. Currently, there is no approved vaccine or therapy to prevent infection or diminish disease severity. Protection against DENV is associated with the development of neutralizing antibodies that recognize the viral envelope (E) protein. Here, with the goal of identifying monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that can function as postexposure therapy, we generated a panel of 82 new MAbs against DENV-3, including 24 highly neutralizing MAbs. Using yeast surface display, we localized the epitopes of the most strongly neutralizing MAbs to the lateral ridge of domain III (DIII) of the DENV type 3 (DENV-3) E protein. While several MAbs functioned prophylactically to prevent DENV-3-induced lethality in a stringent intracranial-challenge model of mice, only three MAbs exhibited therapeutic activity against a homologous strain when administered 2 days after infection. Remarkably, no MAb in our panel protected prophylactically against challenge by a strain from a heterologous DENV-3 genotype. Consistent with this, no single MAb neutralized efficiently the nine different DENV-3 strains used in this study, likely because of the sequence variation in DIII within and between genotypes. Our studies suggest that strain diversity may limit the efficacy of MAb therapy or tetravalent vaccines against DENV, as neutralization potency generally correlated with a narrowed genotype specificity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10630-10643
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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