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Reading: Dengue viral infection: untangling the host-viral knot


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Cyril Fernando Memorial Oration

Dengue viral infection: untangling the host-viral knot


Nilanka Perera

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About Nilanka
Senior Lecturer, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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Dengue virus (DENV) infections cause significant morbidity worldwide. The complex host-viral interactions affecting viral replication and the host immune response result in variable disease severity in affected individuals. This oration describes the effect of DENV on the host stress response that occurs due to the overwhelming proteins trafficking in a cell during infection. Unfolded protein response (UPR), by the cell attempt to reduce this protein burden of the cell and avoid cell death. However, DENV preferentially activates some of the arms of this host response to increase virus replication and increase inflammatory mediator production.


Studies performed during the last few years on identifying this UPR and effect on oxidative stress in relevant primary cells in vitro are described in an attempt to understand the DENV disease pathogenesis better. Furthermore, these basic science findings were expanded to identify novel markers that could predict severe disease in clinical samples. These studies which identified transcripts and proteins as disease markers to predict dengue haemorrhagic fever in patients during early dengue infection are summarized. In addition, use of a class of drug, iminosugars that affect these host responses including oxidative stress is described as a host-directed approach in treating DENV infection. Overall, this reports how host responses could be exploited by DENV for pathogenesis and how we can use these markers as diagnostics and design host-directed therapy.

How to Cite: Perera, N., 2022. Dengue viral infection: untangling the host-viral knot. Journal of the Ceylon College of Physicians, 53(2), pp.60–65. DOI:
Published on 19 Dec 2022.
Peer Reviewed


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