Conference Dates

June 12 – 17, 2022


Zika and dengue viruses are members of the Flavivirus genus that share many structural and pathological characteristics. They cause mild fever, rash and general body pain but can cause severe reactions, as hemorrhages (dengue virus), congenital syndrome (Zika virus), or even death. After an infection, virus-specific antibodies are generated by the immune system; however, because of the structural similarity between these viruses, some antibodies can cross-react with different members of the flavivirus family. After a secondary infection, the cross-reactive antibodies can lead to the more severe forms of the disease, through a mechanism named antibody-dependent enhancement of infection (ADE). Recently, some broadly neutralizing antibodies (antibodies that neutralize both, dengue and Zika, viruses), have been isolated and it has been demonstrated that they do not induce ADE. These antibodies are directed to a discontinuous quaternary epitope named the Envelope Dimer Epitope (EDE)1, located in the envelope (E) protein of both viruses. To obtain EDE, it is necessary to express the complete E protein, which contains other epitopes that induce ADE. This study aims to generate peptides that emulate the EDE epitope structure (mimotopes) without inducing ADE, and study its capacity to elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies against dengue and Zika viruses, to obtain a vaccine candidate for both viruses.

Please click Download on the upper right corner to see the full abstract.