COVID-19 Virus Infection and Transmission are Observably Less in Highly Dengue-Endemic Countries: Is Pre-Exposure to Dengue Virus Protective Against COVID-19 Severity and Mortality? Will the Reverse Scenario Be True?

COVID-19 Virus Infection and Transmission are Observably Less in Highly Dengue-Endemic Countries: Is Pre-Exposure to Dengue Virus Protective Against COVID-19 Severity and Mortality? Will the Reverse Scenario Be True?

Author Info

Corresponding Author
Subhajit Biswas
CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

A B S T R A C T

Global severity maps of ongoing dengue epidemic and COVID-19 pandemic do not tend to overlap. Countries with high dengue endemicity (>1.5 million cases/year) are observably less hit by COVID-19 in terms of infection, transmission and mortality. Based on non-overlap of dengue and COVID-19 severity maps in general and increasing evidences of SARS-CoV-2 false-positivity in dengue antibody tests, we wonder whether regular pre-exposure to dengue virus (DENV) in highly dengue endemic countries is providing some extent of protection against COVID-19 severity. We also wondered whether immunization of susceptible populations in dengue non-endemic countries (e.g. Europe and North America) with available live-attenuated dengue vaccines, will cue the anti-viral immune response to thwart COVID-19. Risk of developing post-vaccination antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) is low as dengue is not endemic in the aforesaid regions. Understanding the consequences of dengue and COVID-19 co-endemicity in the upcoming days is another area of huge concern. Although, it appears that dengue-induced immunity is ‘thwarting’ COVID-19, it is not clear whether conversely, COVID-19 convalescent individuals will also be resistant to future dengue attacks. On the contrary, such individuals may show higher susceptibility to DENV due to ADE caused by cross-reactive COVID-19 antibodies. The latter may bind to DENV without neutralizing the virus; instead, such antibodies may facilitate cellular entry of DENV by means of their Fcregions attached to the susceptible cells. This possibility also cautions against complications that may arise on implementing SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations in highly dengue endemic countries.

Article Info

Article Type
Review Article
Publication history
Received: Mon 15, Jun 2020
Accepted: Thu 25, Jun 2020
Published: Tue 30, Jun 2020
Copyright
© 2021 Subhajit Biswas. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Hosting by Science Repository. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.31487/j.CEI.2020.02.05