Mean survival time following intracerebral inoculation of dengue virus was reduced and the titre of the virus in the brain of immunosuppressed mice was markedly increased. A single dose of cyclophosphamide given 24 h after dengue virus i.c. or i.p. substantially reduced the number of antibody forming cells in the spleen. Three doses of dengue virus, each followed by cyclophosphamide 24 h later, produced specific hyporesponsiveness to the dengue virus but not to a heterologous virus (Coxsackie B4), with a reduction in antibody forming cells in the spleen of such animals against dengue virus but not against Coxsackie B4 virus. Adoptive immunity by antiserum was abolished along with increased titres of the virus in the brain of immunosuppressed mice but the protection could be restored by a second dose of antiserum. Pre-treatment of mice with immune or normal spleen cells i.v. or reconstitution of immunosuppressed mice by such cells had no effect. Thus, humoral antibodies play a crucially important role in host defence mechanism in recovery of mice from primary dengue virus infection.


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