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Currently licensed dengue vaccines do not induce long-term protection in children without previous exposure to dengue viruses in nature. These vaccines are based on selected attenuated strains of the four dengue serotypes and employed in combination for two or three consecutive doses. In our search for a better dengue vaccine candidate, live attenuated strains were followed by non-infectious virus-like particles or the plasmids that generate these particles upon injection into the body. This heterologous prime-boost immunization induced elevated levels of virus-specific antibodies and helped to prevent dengue virus infection in a high proportion of vaccinated macaques. In macaques that remained susceptible to dengue virus, distinct mechanisms were found to account for the immunization failures, providing a better understanding of vaccine actions. Additional studies in humans in the future may help to establish whether this combination approach represents a more effective means of preventing dengue by vaccination.

Original publication




Journal article


J Virol

Publication Date





DNA vaccine, attenuated virus, dengue, prime-boost immunization, virus-like particle, Animals, Humans, Antibodies, Viral, Dengue, Dengue Vaccines, Dengue Virus, Macaca fascicularis, Immunization, Secondary, Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle