The four serotypes of dengue virus (DENV) cause the most important and rapidly emerging arboviral diseases in humans. The recent phase 2b and 3 studies of a tetravalent dengue vaccine reported a moderate efficacy despite the presence of neutralizing antibodies, highlighting the need for a better understanding of neutralizing antibodies in polyclonal human sera. Certain type-specific (TS) antibodies were recently discovered to account for the monotypic neutralizing activity and protection after primary DENV infection. The nature of neutralizing antibodies after secondary DENV infection remains largely unknown. In this study, we examined sera from 10 vaccinees with well-documented exposure to first and second DENV serotypes through heterotypic immunization with live-attenuated vaccines. Higher serum IgG avidities to both exposed and nonexposed serotypes were found after secondary immunization than after primary immunization. Using a two-step depletion protocol to remove different anti-envelope antibodies, including group-reactive (GR) and complex-reactive (CR) antibodies separately, we found GR and CR antibodies together contributed to more than 50% of neutralizing activities against multiple serotypes after secondary immunization. Similar findings were demonstrated in patients after secondary infection. Anti-envelope antibodies recognizing previously exposed serotypes consisted of a large proportion of GR antibodies, CR antibodies, and a small proportion of TS antibodies, whereas those recognizing nonexposed serotypes consisted ofGRand CR antibodies. These findings have implications for sequential heterotypic immunization or primary immunization of DENV-primed individuals as alternative strategies for DENV vaccination. The complexity of neutralizing antibodies after secondary infection provides new insights into the difficulty of their application as surrogates of protection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science