(Photo: AFP/Luis Robayo)
SINGAPORE: There is a greater need to develop a vaccine that does not cause maternal antibody interference as more babies are born to mothers who have been vaccinated against dengue infection.
“Maternal antibody interference” refers to the mother’s anti-dengue antibodies that are passed to the baby during pregnancy and breastfeeding. And these antibodies may worsen dengue infection in their offspring, according to research by Associate Professor Sylvie Alonso from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the National University of Singapore’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.
In tests on mice, vaccinated rodent mothers’ dengue antibodies were found to protect their babies from dengue infection caused by the same strain of virus but not other dengue strains, said Assoc Prof Alonso.
When pitted against other dengue strains, the maternal antibodies caused severe complications such as dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. These life-threatening conditions may be accompanied by symptoms such as abdominal pain and the leakage of fluids into the lung and internal cavities, according to findings published in JCI Insight on Dec 21.
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