Dengue is a global public health threat caused by infection with any of the 4 related dengue virus serotypes (DENV1-4). Clinical manifestations range from self-limiting febrile illness, known as dengue fever (DF), to life-threatening severe diseases, such as dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) or dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Most cases of DHF/DSS are associated with secondary heterotypic infections through a phenomenon that is described as antibody-dependent enhancement of infection (ADE). There are an estimated 400 million human infections and several hundred thousand cases of severe dengue occurring yearly. At present, however, there are no approved antiviral drugs against DENV infection. The lack of a suitable animal model has hampered the evaluation of novel antiviral candidates for DENV infection. Since DENV poorly establishes infection in immunocompetent mice, AG129 mice (lacking type I and II IFN [interferon] receptors) and mouse-adapted DENV2 strains have been applied to dengue animal models that enable to reproduce several of the major pathologies of human infection. Recently, we developed new mouse models with clinical isolates DENV1 and DENV2 that would be useful for drug testing and dengue pathogenesis studies (Watanabe et al., 2016). Here we describe the details to establish dengue mouse models of clinical isolates; from in vitro preparation of the materials to in vivo virus infection. Of note, since infectivity of DENV in mice differs among virus strains, not all clinical isolates can induce severe dengue.
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