Nancy Bigley (Committee Chair), Ioana Pavel-sizemore (Committee Member), Courtney Sulentic (Committee Member)
Master of Science (MS)
Dengue is an emerging hemorrhagic fever virus and widely considered the most important arbovirus in the world. The CDC and the World Health Organization estimates Dengue virus (DENV) infects 50-400 million people annually in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. More than 500 thousand of these will develop severe infection and approximately 22 thousand will lead to death. Dengue virus (DENV) is a positive-sense RNA virus that exists in 4 antigenic serotypes. An immunological phenomenon called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) leaves a DENV victim vulnerable to increased risk of subsequent infections. Secondary infections with DENV are known to increase in severity from Dengue Fever (DF) to Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) or Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS). Currently, no vaccines or treatments are approved for DENV infections. Unsuccessful vaccine trials may open the door for non-traditional treatments such as silver nanoparticles. Silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are known to inhibit viral replication of numerous viruses but have never before been tested for inhibition of DENV. For the first time, this research presents reductions in DENV2 binding to Vero and RAW cells following pretreatment with AgNPs (6-10 nm, 8-25 μg/mL) and enhanced cell viability. These results suggest that similarly to other viruses, DENV infection can be inhibited at the first stage of the virus replication cycle, binding & entry.
Department or Program
Microbiology and Immunology
Year Degree Awarded
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