Antibody-mediated enhancement of dengue virus replication is thought to be a mechanism contributing to the pathogenesis of dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. Enhancement is associated with antibodies to structural components of the virus. To circumvent the problem of immune enhancement, studies to identify protective antigens of dengue virus have involved non-structural proteins. Passive and active protection against lethal dengue virus infection in mice have been demonstrated with the nonstructural protein NS1. In this study, the dengue virus non-structural protein NS3 was examined in passive protection studies with monoclonal antibodies prepared against NS3 of dengue 1 virus (Hawaiian). Five monoclonal antibodies that were authenticated to be reactive to NS3 were used to immunize 13- to 14-day old mice intraperitoneally. Thereafter, the mice were challenged intracerebrally with 100 LD of neurotropic dengue 1 virus and the survival indices of the mice were calculated. Significant decreases in survival indices ( < 0.05), indicating increases in survival times were observed with four of five monoclonal antibodies tested. Monoclonal antibodies to NS3 of dengue 1 virus are able to increase the survival time of mice challenged with a lethal dose of dengue 1 virus, although the mechanism remains to be defined.


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