Alan L. Rothman


Dr. Rothman is an infectious diseases physician who has been conducting research on immunity and pathogenesis of viral diseases in humans for over 30 years. He has long-standing collaborations with colleagues in the US and internationally in Thailand, Europe, and Latin America. He has served on advisory committees for the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization, and is Program Director for the Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Project, an international research collaboration funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


Research in Dr. Rothman’s laboratory is focused on defining the virological and immunological events in dengue and their relationship to viral hemorrhagic fever. Dengue is an acute febrile illness caused by any of four related flaviviruses (dengue virus [DENV] serotypes 1-4). DENV infection in humans is acquired from mosquitoes of the genus Aedes, principally A. aegypti. There is a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations of dengue, ranging from a self-limited febrile illness (dengue fever, DF) to a plasma leakage syndrome accompanied by bleeding (dengue hemorrhagic fever, DHF). Although DHF is observed in only a small percentage of infections, it plays a large role in the public health impact of dengue because it can lead to shock and death.

Many factors contribute to the risk for DHF, but one of the most important factors is pre-existing immunity from an earlier DENV infection. Infection with one DENV only provides long-lasting protection against that serotype; sequential infection with different DENV serotypes is common in tropical areas of the world. Our research seeks to understand the basis for the association of DHF with secondary DENV infection. We hypothesize that the quality and timing of DENV-specific immune responses influence whether their overall effect is beneficial or harmful. The results of our research will be applied to evaluation and management of patients with dengue and to development and testing of vaccines and therapeutics against dengue.


  • M.D., Boston University School of Medicine, 1983
  • B.A., Boston University, 1979

Selected Publications

Sanchez Vargas LA, Anderson KB, Srikiatkhachorn A, Currier JR, Friberg H, Endy TP, Fernandez S, Mathew A, Rothman AL. Longitudinal analysis of dengue virus (DENV)-specific memory T cell responses and their association with clinical outcome in subsequent DENV infection. Front Immunol 2021; 12:710300. PMID: 34394112 PMCID: PMC8355709 doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.710300

Salje H, Alera MT, Chua MN, Hunsawong T, Ellison D, Srikiatkhachorn A, Jarman RG, Gromowski GD, Rodriguez-Barraquer I, Cauchemez S, Cummings DAT, Macareo L, Yoon IK, Fernandez S, Rothman AL. Evaluation of the extended efficacy of the Dengvaxia vaccine against symptomatic and subclinical dengue infection. Nat Med 2021; 27:1395-1400. PMID: 34168334 PMCID: PMC8364868 doi: 10.1038/s41591-021-01392-9

Elson WH, Reiner RC, Siles C, Bazan I, Vilcarromero S, Riley-Powell AR, Kawiecki AB, Astete H, Hontz RD, Barker CM, Vazquez-Prokopec GM, Morrison AC, Scott TW, Elder JP, Rothman AL, Paz-Soldan VA. Measuring the heterogeneity of dengue illness experience in a community-based prospective study in Iquitos, Peru. Emerg Infect Dis 2020; 26:2077-2086. PMID: 32818402 doi: 10.3201/eid2609.191472

Sánchez-Vargas LA, Kounlavouth S, Smith ML, Anderson KB, Srikiatkhachorn A, Ellison DW, Currier JR, Endy TP, Mathew A, Rothman AL. Longitudinal analysis of memory B and T cell responses to dengue virus in a five-year prospective cohort study in Thailand. Frontiers Immunol 2019; 10:1359. PMID: 31263466 PMCID: PMC6585174 doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01359

Friberg H, Beaumier CM, Park S, Pazoles P, Endy TP, Mathew A, Currier JR, Jarman RG, Anderson KB, Hatch S, Thomas SJ, Rothman AL. Protective versus pathologic pre-exposure cytokine profiles in dengue virus infection. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2018; 12: e0006975. PMID: 30557313 PMCID: PMC6312351 doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006975

Haltaufderhyde K, Srikiatkhachorn A, Green S, Macareo L, Park S, Kalayanarooj S, Rothman AL, Mathew A. Activation of peripheral T follicular helper cells during acute dengue virus infection. J Infect Dis 2018; 218:1675-1685. PMID: 29917084 PMCID: PMC6927865 doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiy360