The expansion of the habitat of mosquitoes belonging to the Aedes genus puts nearly half of the world’s population at risk of contracting dengue fever, and a significant fraction will develop its serious hemorrhagic complication, which can be fatal if not diagnosed properly and treated in a timely fashion. Although several diagnostic methods have been approved for dengue diagnostics, their applicability is limited in rural areas of developing countries by sample preparation costs and methodological requirements, as well as cross-reactivity among the different serotypes of the Dengue virus and other flavivirus, such as the Zika virus. For these reasons, it is necessary to generate more specific antigens to improve serological methods that could be cheaper and used in field operations. Here, we describe a strategy for the inactivation of cross-reacting epitopes on the surface of the Dengue virus envelope protein through the synthetic generation of recombinant peptide sequences, where key amino acid residues from Dengue virus serotype 1 (DENV-1) and 2 (DENV-2) are substituted by alanine residues. The proteins thus generated are recognized by 88% of sera from Dengue NS1+ patients and show improved serotype specificity because they do not react with the antibodies present in seroconverted, PCR-serotyped DEN-4 infected patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases