Artemis One Health


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Dengue virus intervention strategies (DENVIS)

Dengue virus (DENV) infection is a huge and growing problem in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Approximately 390 million people are infected annually worldwide with DENV, which may develop into severe disease, characterized by shock and multi-organ failure (MOF), especially in children. When dengue hits a community, it results in big outbreaks where lots of patients come to hospitals and outpatient clinics, causing disruption to the healthcare system and the overall economy, resulting in an annual number of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) of 520 per million inhabitants. The mechanisms leading to shock and MOF are not well understood. Three major hypotheses have been proposed to explain the pathogenesis of severe disease: antibody-dependent enhancement of disease, aberrant T-cell response and viral virulence. Although none of these hypotheses alone can explain the pathogenesis of shock, it is clear that extensive virus replication in the early phase of infection resulting in high viral load is an important and necessary factor. Currently, there is a vaccine registered for use in endemic areas, but its effectiveness depends on the local epidemiology of dengue and how intense the transmission is. Therefore, even in the face of a vaccine, the best estimates are that the vaccine will only be used in small proportion of people. In addition, the vaccine will not be enough to vaccinate the whole population of people living in high-risk areas. Therefore, in addition to an effective vaccine an anti-DENV drug will be essential to efficiently treat severe cases of dengue. However, despite the potential advantages of antiviral drugs, their development lags behind that of vaccines because of the lack of attention given to dengue over the last 50 years, which has been translated into significantly less funding for development of drugs.

The main goals of DENVIS are:

  • Develop a safe and effective protease inhibitor for DENV
  • Deliver clinical proof of concept in animal models.
  • Develop candidate vaccines that are suitable for large-scale production
  • Perform pre-clinical studies with the most promising candidate vaccines
  • Develop standardized assays to evaluate immunogenicity and efficacy of candidate dengue fever vaccines

Status: Ongoing…


The DENVIS project is supported through own investments and joint activities without financial commitment.



Artemis One Health Research Foundation (NL)

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen (DE)

ProtInhi BV (NL)

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