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Analysis of Individuals from a Dengue-Endemic Region Helps Define the Footprint and Repertoire of Antibodies Targeting Dengue Virus 3 Type-Specific Epitopes.

Abstract

The four serotypes of dengue virus cause dengue, a major public health burden worldwide, yet it has been challenging to develop a vaccine that is safe and equally effective against all four serotypes. More in-depth characterization of natural human neutralizing antibody responses is needed to identify determinants of protective antibody responses to all DENV serotypes. Here, we use hospital and cohort studies in a region where dengue is endemic to assess the proportion and kinetics of the DENV3 neutralizing antibody response directed to a quaternary epitope on DENV3 recognized by strongly neutralizing human monoclonal antibody 5J7, which was transplanted into a DENV4 backbone. We show that many individuals recognized the 5J7 epitope, but to various degrees over time, suggesting that additional DENV3-specific epitopes likely exist. Thus, characterization of epitope-specific neutralizing antibody responses in natural DENV infections can help define the footprint and repertoire of antibodies directed to DENV3 type-specific epitopes, with implications for dengue vaccine development.

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