Autochthonous spread of DENV-3 genotype III in Malaysia mitigated by pre-existing homotypic and heterotypic immunity

K. K. Tan, S. Nellis, N. I. Zulkifle, S. Sulaiman, S. AbuBakar

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Dengue virus type 3 genotype III (DENV-3/III) is widely distributed in most dengue-endemic regions. It emerged in Malaysia in 2008 and autochthonously spread in the midst of endemic DENV-3/I circulation. The spread, however, was limited and the virus did not cause any major outbreak. Spatiotemporal distribution study of DENV-3 over the period between 2005 and 2011 revealed that dengue cases involving DENV-3/III occurred mostly in areas without pre-existing circulating DENV-3. Neutralisation assays performed using sera of patients with the respective infection showed that the DENV-3/III viruses can be effectively neutralised by sera of patients with DENV-3 infection (50% foci reduction neutralisation titres (FRNT50) > 1300). Sera of patients with DENV-1 infection (FRNT50 â 190), but not sera of patients with DENV-2 infection (FRNT50 â 50), were also able to neutralise the virus. These findings highlight the possibility that the pre-existing homotypic DENV-3 and the cross-reacting heterotypic DENV-1 antibody responses could play a role in mitigating a major outbreak involving DENV-3/III in the Klang Valley, Malaysia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1635-1641
Number of pages7
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Arbovirus
  • dengue virus
  • immunity
  • infectious disease
  • Malaysia

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