Is asthma a protective factor for dengue fever? In vitro experiment and nationwide population-based cohort analysis

Hong Ren Yu, Jui Hsiu Tsai, Chun Hung Richard Lin, Jiu Yao Wang, Yen Hsia Wen, Shihn Sheng Wu, Yuan Hou, Ing Kit Lee, Hung Pin Tu, Yi Chen Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Dengue fever (DF) is the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne viral disease. Practical vaccines or specific therapeutics are still expected. Environmental factors and genetic factors affect the susceptibility of Dengue virus (DV) infection. Asthma is a common allergic disease, with house dust mites (HDMs) being the most important allergens. Asthmatic patients are susceptible to several microorganism infections. Methods: A nationwide population-based cohort analysis was designed to assess whether to determine whether asthma can be a risk factor for DF. Results: Unexpectedly, our data from a nationwide population-based cohort revealed asthmatic patients are at a decreased risk of DF. Compared to patients without asthma, the hazard ratio (HR) for DF in patients with asthma was 0.166 (95% CI: 0.118–0.233) after adjustment for possible confounding factors. In the age stratification, the adjusted HR for DF in young adult patients with asthma was 0.063. Dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3-grabbing non-integrin (DC-SIGN) of dendritic cells (DCs) is an important entry for DV. Through another in vitro experiment, we found that HDM can diminish surface expression of DC-SIGN in monocyte-derived DCs and further decrease the cellular entry of DV. Conclusions: Decreased DC-SIGN expression in DCs of allergic asthmatic patient may be one of many factors for them to be protected against DF. This could implicate the potential for DC-SIGN modulation as a candidate target for designing therapeutic strategies for DF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-493
Number of pages8
JournalAllergology International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy


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