Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection, with an estimated 400 million infections occurring annually. It affects millions of people throughout the world and in severe cases, can prove fatal. Dengue is common in Singapore too and the government takes extra measures to contain mosquitoes and actively spreads education about dengue fever to the residents of the country. Hence, the discovery by scientists on a new class of highly potent, neutralizing antibodies against various strains of dengue virus is cutting edge. The study was published in the highly acclaimed journal, Nature Immunology, on 15th December 2014. The scientists have discovered a previously unknown epitope, the envelope dimer epitope (EDE). The study characterized 145 monoclonal antibodies and found that the antibodies specific to EDEs were reactive broadly across various dengue complexes. This research can be used to engineer a highly effective vaccine in the near future.
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