A lethal model of disseminated dengue virus type 1 infection in AG129 mice

Gregg N. Milligan, Vanessa Sarathy, Mellodee M. White, M. Banks Greenberg, Gerald A. Campbell, Richard B. Pyles, Alan D.T. Barrett, Nigel Bourne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The mosquito-borne disease dengue is caused by four serologically and genetically related flaviviruses termed DENV-1 to DENV-4. Dengue is a global public health concern, with both the geographical range and burden of disease increasing rapidly. Clinically, dengue ranges from a relatively mild self-limiting illness to a severe life-threatening and sometimes fatal disease. Infection with one DENV serotype produces life-long homotypic immunity, but incomplete and short-term heterotypic protection. The development of small-animal models that recapitulate the characteristics of the disseminated disease seen clinically has been difficult, slowing the development of vaccines and therapeutics. The AG129 mouse (deficient in interferon alpha/beta and gamma receptor signalling) has proven to be valuable for this purpose, with the development of models of disseminated DENV-2,-3 and -4 disease. Recently, a DENV-1 AG129 model was described, but it requires antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) to produce lethality. Here we describe a new AG129 model utilizing a non-mouse-adapted DENV-1 strain, West Pacific 74, that does not require ADE to induce lethal disease. Following high-titre intraperitoneal challenge, animals experience a virus infection with dissemination to multiple visceral tissues, including the liver, spleen and intestine. The animals also become thrombocytopenic, but vascular leakage is less prominent than in AG129 models with other DENV serotypes. Taken together, our studies demonstrate that this model is an important addition to dengue research, particularly for understanding the pathological basis of the disease between DENV serotypes and allowing the full spectrum of activity to test comparisons for putative vaccines and antivirals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number000923
Pages (from-to)2507-2519
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • AG129 mouse
  • Dengue virus
  • Flavivirus
  • Mouse model
  • Pathogenicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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