Fc-receptor-mediated attachment and ingestion of opsonized sheep erythrocytes (EA) by the macrophages of spleen and peritoneal cavity were studied during dengue virus type 2 (DV) infection of Swiss albino mice. Following intracerebral inoculation, virus antigen could be demonstrated by immunofluorescence in the splenic macrophages from day 4 and in peritoneal macrophages from day 5 post-infection, with a higher number of positive cells discernible on the 7th and 8th days. The virus could be isolated from spleen tissue from day 5. The total number of cells was markedly reduced from day 4 onwards both in the spleen and peritoneal cavity. A loss in the capacity to attach and ingest EA was noticed, the lowest values of attachment index (AI) and phagocytic index (PI) being reached on day 4. At later periods the AI values increased markedly but continued to be significantly less than those in uninfected control mice. The PI values continued to be lower throughout. The dichotomy between the Fc-mediated attachment and ingestion may be a mechanism for prevention of virus infection of macrophages.


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