Unité des arbovirus et virus des fièvres hémorragiques, Institut Pasteur, 25, rue du Dr-Roux, 75724 Paris Cedex 15
Dengue (DEN) is the most important vector-borne disease in tropical countries. DEN disease is caused by dengue virus, a member of the flavivirus genus (family Flaviviridae). DEN is one major health concern in humans. DEN virus causes a spectrum of illnesses, ranging from a flu-like disease to DEN hemorrhagic fever, a fulminating illness that can progress to a shock syndrome and death. The pathogenesis of DEN disease is not well understood. Infection of target cells with DEN virus induces apoptosis. Changes in virus life cycle may account for differences in apoptosis induction. Determinants that may be relevant to DEN virus pathogenicity have been identified in the envelope E protein and viral helicase NS3. Intracellular synthesis of DEN envelope glycoproteins prM and E was sufficient to cause cell death. Induction of apoptosis may be linked to the presence of a pro-apoptotic sequence in the C-terminal region of prM.