Texas scientists advance understanding of Dengue fever
The researchers, who included scientists from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB), has developed a map of the antigenic differences between a variety of dengue virus strains.
"Rather than being four distinct antigenic groups in space and time, there is a continuum, or overlapping of those relationships, which makes the job of vaccine developers harder," Nikos Vasilakis, an associate professor in the department of pathology at UTMB and one of the study authors, said.
The new discovery shows that researchers may need to make their understanding of dengue more sophisticated.
There are multiple dengue vaccine candidates being developed but there is not a licensed vaccine to prevent the disease's spread. Before now, researchers believed there were just four distinct serotypes or antigenic variants to the disease. Now, they have identified an overlap between the four dengue types they had not seen before.