Dengue virus, the causative agent of dengue disease which may have hemorrhagic complications, poses a global health threat. Among the numerous target cells for dengue virus in humans are monocytes, macrophages and mast cells which are important regulators of vascular integrity and which undergo dramatic cellular responses after infection by dengue virus. The strategic locations of these three cell types, inside blood vessels (monocytes) or outside blood vessels (macrophages and mast cells) allow them to respond to dengue virus infection with the production of both intracellular and secretory factors which affect virus replication, vascular permeability and/or leukocyte extravasation. Moreover, the expression of Fc receptors on the surface of monocytes, macrophages and mast cells makes them important target cells for antibody-enhanced dengue virus infection which is a major risk factor for severe dengue disease, involving hemorrhage. Collectively, these features of monocytes, macrophages and mast cells contribute to both beneficial and harmful responses of importance to understanding and controlling dengue infection and disease.
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