Dengue viruses (DENVs) cause the most common arthropod-borne viral disease in man with 50-100 million infections per year. Because of the lack of a vaccine and antiviral drugs, the sole measure of control is limiting the Aedes mosquito vectors. DENV infection can be asymptomatic or a self-limited, acute febrile disease ranging in severity. The classical form of dengue fever (DF) is characterized by high fever, headache, stomach ache, rash, myalgia, and arthralgia. Severe dengue, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), and dengue shock syndrome (DSS) are accompanied by thrombocytopenia, vascular leakage, and hypotension. DSS, which can be fatal, is characterized by systemic shock. Despite intensive research, the underlying mechanisms causing severe dengue is still not well understood partly due to the lack of appropriate animal models of infection and disease. However, even though it is clear that both viral and host factors play important roles in the course of infection, a fundamental knowledge gap still remains to be filled regarding host cell tropism, crucial host immune response mechanisms, and viral markers for virulence.
2013. Vol. 3