Dengue fever a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes, affects millions of people worldwide. Besides its physical symptoms, dengue fever significantly influences the immune system. intricate relationship between dengue fever and the immune system, shedding light on the immune response to the virus and its subsequent effects on the body.
how does dengue fever affect the immune system
1. Immune Response to Dengue Virus:
- Activation of the Innate Immune System: The initial defense against the dengue virus involves the activation of various components of the innate immune system such as phagocytes and natural killer cells.
- Adaptive Immune Response: The adaptive immune system plays a crucial role in recognizing and eliminating the virus. T cells and B cells produce specific antibodies to neutralize the virus, while memory cells provide long-term immunity.
2. Immunopathogenesis of Dengue Fever:
- Antibody-Dependent Enhancement (ADE): In some cases, pre-existing dengue-specific antibodies can enhance the entry and replication of different dengue virus serotypes, leading to more severe disease.
- Cytokine Storm: Dengue infection can trigger an excessive release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, resulting in a “cytokine storm” that contributes to the pathogenesis of severe dengue fever.
3. Effects on Immune Cells and Organs:
- Lymphocyte Dysfunction: The dengue virus can directly infect and impair lymphocytes, compromising their normal immune functions.
- Hepatic Dysfunction: Dengue infection can affect the liver an essential organ for immune regulation, compromising the immune response.
- Bone Marrow Suppression: Dengue fever can disrupt the production of blood cells in the bone marrow, resulting in a decrease in platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells.
4. Long-Term Immune Consequences:
- Immunological Memory: Recovered individuals develop long-lasting immunity against the specific dengue serotype they were infected with but may remain sensitive to other serotypes.
- Cross-Reactivity and Dengue Vaccines: The presence of multiple dengue virus serotypes poses challenges for vaccine development due to the risk of antibody-dependent enhancement and cross-reactivity.