Journal of Theoretical Biology

The effect of antibody-dependent enhancement, cross immunity, and vector population on the dynamics of dengue fever

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Dengue is a major international public health concern and impacts one-third of the world's population. No specific vaccine and treatment are available for this vector-borne disease. There are four similar but distinct serotypes of dengue viruses (DENV). Infection with one serotype affords life-long immunity to that serotype but only temporary partial immunity, or cross immunity (CI), to others. This increases the risk of developing lethal complications upon re-infection, mainly because of the effect of antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). There have been multiple studies of the dynamic behavior created by the interplay of ADE and CI using mathematical models. However, models in the literature seldom capture the vector population, which we consider important because combating the mosquito vector is the only way to contain dengue transmission in the absence of vaccines. We therefore propose two differential-equation models of dengue fever (DF) with different levels of complexity and details. Our results support the need for ADE to explain the complexity of the epidemiological data. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.