Intracellular cytokine production by dengue virus-specific T cells correlates with subclinical secondary infection

UMMS Affiliation

Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Clinical and Population Health Research Program; Department of Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; Case-Control Studies; Child; Cytokines; Dengue; Dengue Virus; Humans; T-Lymphocytes


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Women's Studies


The pathophysiology of dengue virus infection remains poorly understood, although secondary infection is strongly associated with more severe disease. In the present study, we performed a nested, case-control study comparing the responses of pre-illness peripheral blood mononuclear cells between children who would subsequently develop either subclinical or symptomatic secondary infection 6-11 months after the baseline blood samples were obtained and frozen. We analyzed intracellular cytokine production by CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells in response to stimulation with dengue antigen. We found higher frequencies of dengue virus-specific TNFalpha, IFNgamma-, and IL-2-producing T cells among schoolchildren who subsequently developed subclinical infection, compared with those who developed symptomatic secondary dengue virus infection. Although other studies have correlated immune responses during secondary infection with severity of disease, to our knowledge this is the first study to demonstrate a pre-infection dengue-specific immune response that correlates specifically with a subclinical secondary infection.

DOI of Published Version



J Infect Dis. 2011 May 1;203(9):1282-91. Epub 2011 Feb 18. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of infectious diseases

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID