Dengue virus infects more than 200 million people each year. However, to date there still is no approved vaccine. The difficulty of neutralizing dengue lies in its four different serotypes: If a patient was previously infected with dengue virus, a future infection with a different serotype can create serious complications, in a phenomenon known as antibody-dependent enhancement. Thus, any dengue prophylactic must neutralize all four serotypes to be effective. Modifying an existing antibody that neutralizing three of four serotypes, the Sasisekharan lab engineered an antibody that effectively binds all four serotypes. The improved antibody will hopefully be ready for clinical trials in 1-2 years.

  • 4E11 bound to Dengue EDIII - positions that distinguish DENV IV from other serotypes are labeled [source]
  • Modelled envelope protein dimer for DENV4, where residues are colored from white (poorly networked) to red (highly networked)
  • In vitro neutralizing activity of 4E5A improves on 4E11 wildtype across four serotypes [source]