Volume 33, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Sera from 52 young adults resident in a rural area in North Thailand were studied for plaque-reducing neutralizing antibodies against dengue (DEN) viruses types 1–4 and Japanese encephalitis (JE), and for DEN-2 infection-enhancing antibodies using a newly described microtest in the human monocyte cell line, U-937. Infection-enhancing antibody titers in U-937 cells using a simplified micromethod were similar to results obtained by published methods using human peripheral blood leukocytes and a macrotest using U-937 cells. In the sample, there were 23 with antibodies to one or more DEN viruses with or without accompanying JE antibodies; 16 sera demonstrated antibodies only to JE and 13 had no detectable antibodies to any flavivirus. All but two DEN antibody-containing sera enhanced DEN-2 infections in U-937 cells, often to titers of 1:10,000 or greater. By contrast, only one of 16 JE-immune sera enhanced DEN-2 infection in monocytes, and that at a dilution of 1:100. None of the flavivirus-negative sera had DEN-2 enhancing activity. The failure of human anti-JE contrasts with the ability of rabbit anti-JE to enhance DEN-2 infections, but correlates with the absence of recorded instances of dengue shock syndrome in human beings sequentially infected with JE and then a DEN virus. This report seemingly reconciles in vitro and in vivo phenomena, and may provide an opportunity to study mechanisms involved.


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