COVID-19 Antibodies Making Dengue More Severe, Says Study

New Delhi: India has been grappling with rapidly rising dengue cases over the past few months.

The situation is especially worrying in states like West Bengal, UP, Bihar and Rajasthan.

The spike in dengue infection is being attributed to heavy rains and waterlogging in many areas. However, the severity of the vector-borne disease may have gone up due to COVID-19 antibodies, according to a study.

An analysis titled ‘SARS-CoV-2 antibodies cross-react and enhance dengue infection’, done at Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) under Central government’s Department of Biotechnology, has been published in bioRxiv, the preprint server for medical sciences.

The study is yet-to-be peer-reviewed.

“This study is the first to demonstrate that anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies can cross-react with DENV-2 (dengue virus 2) and can enhance its infection through antibody- dependent enhancement (the ability of antibodies from a previous infection to help a virus infect greater numbers of cells than it would have on its own),” it said.

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