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Tracking the polyclonal neutralizing antibody response to a dengue virus serotype 1 type-specific epitope across two populations in Asia and the Americas.

Abstract

The four dengue virus serotypes (DENV1-4) cause major public health problems worldwide. Highly neutralizing type-specific human monoclonal antibodies (hmAbs) target conformation-dependent epitopes on the DENV envelope protein, including 1F4, a DENV1 type-specific hmAb. Using a recombinant DENV2 virus displaying the DENV1 1F4 epitope (rDENV2/1), we measured the proportion and kinetics of DENV1 neutralizing antibodies targeting the 1F4 epitope in individuals living in Asia and the Americas where different DENV1 genotypes were circulating. Samples from 20 individuals were analyzed 3 and 18 months post-primary DENV1 infection, alongside samples from 4 individuals collected annually for four years post-primary DENV1 infection, from two studies in Nicaragua. We also analyzed convalescent post-primary DENV1 plasma samples from Sri Lankan individuals. We found that neutralizing antibodies recognizing the 1F4 epitope vary in prevalence across both populations and were detected from 20 days to four years post-infection. Additionally, both populations displayed substantial variability, with a range of high to low proportions of DENV1 type-specific neutralizing antibodies recognizing the 1F4 epitope seen across individuals. Thus, the 1F4 epitope is a major but not exclusive target of type-specific neutralizing antibodies post-primary infection with different DENV1 genotypes in Asia and Latin America, and additional epitopes likely contribute to type-specific neutralization of DENV1.

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