The immune response against flaviviruses.
Slon Campos JL., Mongkolsapaya J., Screaton GR.
Arthropod-borne flaviviruses are important human pathogens that cause a diverse range of clinical conditions, including severe hemorrhagic syndromes, neurological complications and congenital malformations. Consequently, there is an urgent need to develop safe and effective vaccines, a process requiring better understanding of the immunological mechanisms involved during infection. Decades of research suggest a paradoxical role of the immune response against flaviviruses: although the immune response is crucial for the control, clearance and prevention of infection, poor clinical outcomes are commonly associated with virus-specific immunity and immunopathogenesis. This relationship is further complicated by the high homology among viruses and the implication of cross-reactive immune responses in protection and pathogenesis. This Review examines the dual role of the adaptive immune response against flaviviruses, particularly emphasizing the most recent findings regarding cross-reactive T cell and antibody responses, and the effects that these concepts have on vaccine-development endeavors.