Antibody-dependent enhancement of Murray Valley encephalitis virus virulence in mice

Margie Wallace, David Smith, A.K. Broom, J.S. Mackenzie, R.A. Hall, Geoffrey Shellam, P.C. Mcminn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Enhancement of flavivirus infection in vitro in the presence of subneutralizing concentrations of homologous or heterologous antiserum has been well described. However, the importance of this phenomenon in the enhancement of flavivirus infection in vivo has not been established. In order to study antibody- mediated enhancement of flavivirus infection in vivo, we investigated the effect of passive immunization of mice with Japanese encephalitis virus (JE) antiserum on the outcome of infection with Murray Valley encephalitis virus (MVE). We show that prior treatment of mice with subneutralizing concentrations of heterologous JE antiserum resulted in an increase in viraemia titres and in mortality following challenge with wild-type MVE. Our findings support the hypothesis that subneutralizing concentrations of antibody may enhance flavivirus infection and virulence in vivo. These findings are of potential importance for the design of JE vaccination programs in geographic areas in which MVE co-circulates. Should subneutralizing concentrations of antibody remain in the population following JE vaccination, it is possible that enhanced disease may be observed during MVE epidemics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1723-1728
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2003


Dive into the research topics of 'Antibody-dependent enhancement of Murray Valley encephalitis virus virulence in mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this