Animal models of dengue virus infection.


The development of animal models of dengue virus (DENV) infection and disease has been challenging, as epidemic DENV does not naturally infect non-human species. Non-human primates (NHPs) can sustain viral replication in relevant cell types and develop a robust immune response, but they do not develop overt disease. In contrast, certain immunodeficient mouse models infected with mouse-adapted DENV strains show signs of severe disease similar to the 'vascular-leak' syndrome seen in severe dengue in humans. Humanized mouse models can sustain DENV replication and show some signs of disease, but further development is needed to validate the immune response. Classically, immunocompetent mice infected with DENV do not manifest disease or else develop paralysis when inoculated intracranially; however, a new model using high doses of DENV has recently been shown to develop hemorrhagic signs after infection. Overall, each model has its advantages and disadvantages and is differentially suited for studies of dengue pathogenesis and immunopathogenesis and/or pre-clinical testing of antiviral drugs and vaccines.

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