The phenomenon known as antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) has been demonstrated but its significance in viral pathogenesis is uncertain even though it has been associated with dengue shock syndrome. Here we report for the first time the enhancement of virus virulence in mice using monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) prepared against yellow fever (YF) viruses. Our results show that the average survival time of mice was reduced by up to 33% (i.e. 6.7 to 4.5 days) and that ADE is both antibody dose-dependent and antibody- and virus strain-specific. A total of 12 YF viruses and 11 MAbs were examined and of these only three YF viruses (FNV, Asibi and B11) could be enhanced by only two MAbs (427 and 126). A particular combination of virus and antibody is required for ADE to take place.


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