Dengue virus (DENV) infection may result in severe life-threatening Dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF). The mechanisms causing haemorrhage in those with DHF are unclear. In this study, we demonstrated that antibodies against human thrombin were increased in the sera of Dengue patients but not in that of patients infected with other viruses. To further characterise the properties of these antibodies, affinity-purified anti-thrombin antibodies (ATAs) were collected from Dengue patient sera by thrombin and protein A/L affinity columns. Most of the ATAs belonged to the IgG class and recognized DENV nonstructural protein 1 (NS1). In addition, we found that dengue patient ATAs also cross-reacted with human plasminogen (Plg). Functional studies in vitro indicated that Dengue patient ATAs could inhibit thrombin activity and enhance Plg activation. Taken together, these results suggest that DENV NS1-induced thrombin and Plg cross-reactive antibodies may contribute to the development of haemorrhage in patients with DHF by interfering with coagulation and fibrinolysis.
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