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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 628475, 13 pages
Review Article

Dengue Virus Entry as Target for Antiviral Therapy

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Rega Institute for Medical Research, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

Received 26 September 2011; Accepted 10 November 2011

Academic Editor: Jean-Paul Gonzalez

Copyright © 2012 Marijke M. F. Alen and Dominique Schols. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dengue virus (DENV) infections are expanding worldwide and, because of the lack of a vaccine, the search for antiviral products is imperative. Four serotypes of DENV are described and they all cause a similar disease outcome. It would be interesting to develop an antiviral product that can interact with all four serotypes, prevent host cell infection and subsequent immune activation. DENV entry is thus an interesting target for antiviral therapy. DENV enters the host cell through receptor-mediated endocytosis. Several cellular receptors have been proposed, and DC-SIGN, present on dendritic cells, is considered as the most important DENV receptor until now. Because DENV entry is a target for antiviral therapy, various classes of compounds have been investigated to inhibit this process. In this paper, an overview is given of all the putative DENV receptors, and the most promising DENV entry inhibitors are discussed.