Dengue’s powers of cross protection

Check out this NY Times piece clarifying dengue’s capacity for cross protection. Dengue is a mostquito-born virus which often causes flu-like symptoms in humans. While it is known that infection with one strain of the virus results in a brief period of protection from the three other strains, the duration of this protective period has remained unclear until now. Researchers have determined that infection provides a two-year window of cross protection. However, a secondary infection with a different strain which occurs after the two year window increases the risk of extremely virulent symptoms, including dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Dengue is considered one of the WHO’s “neglected tropical diseases“, due to its endemic nature in over 100, primarily poorer, countries and its comparative neglect in terms of vaccine and antiviral research.

Excerpt: “Infection with one strain of the dengue virus gives people protection against the other three strains for about two years, a new biostatistics study has found. The study, by Thai and American researchers, was based on 38 years’ worth of laboratory records from one children’s hospital in Bangkok. By measuring how long each strain predominated and then faded in importance, researchers could calculate how long protection lasted against alternate strains.”

Read the full article here.