Immunization of mice with the dengue 2 virus (DEN 2)-specified non-structural protein NS1 provided significant protection against intracerebral challenge with the virus in the absence of detectable neutralizing or other anti-virion antibody. NS1, purified from lysates of infected Vero cells by immunoaffinity chromatography, expressed an antigenic site(s) common to each of the four DEN serotypes, and hyperimmunization of rabbits with NS1 stimulated production of complement-fixing (CF) antibody with broad DEN serotype specificity. However, cross-protection was not observed: mice immunized with DEN 2 NS1 developed little or no heterologous CF antibody and were not protected against challenge with neurovirulent DEN 1. Induction of a protective immune response by NS1 suggests that it be considered for incorporation into possible synthetic or recombinant DNA DEN vaccines.


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