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Genetically Modified Mosquitoes To Control Dengue Virus Outbreak

Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease and in recent years it is found in all regions of the World Health Organization (WHO). Female mosquitoes transmit the dengue virus mainly Aedes aegypti. This new study suggests that it is possible to immunize the mosquitoes and the transmission of the dengue virus can be prevented.

An international team of biologists led by Akbari’s lab has engineered the first mosquitoes that impasses the transmission of the dengue virus. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are the insects that are the cause of dengue in humans.

Researchers in UC San Diego at a Vanderbilt University Medical Center identified a broad spectrum human antibody for the suppression of dengue and another antibody was designed named, cargo, that spreads the dengue virus in humans.

This study was published in the journal PLOS Pathogens and it is available online.

The member of the Tata Institute for Genetics and Society, Akbari, finds that the antibody activates and express when the mosquito takes in blood. The replication of the virus is hindered by the antibody. The antibody prevents the circulation of the virus in the whole body of mosquitoes and prevents the transmission of the virus in humans.

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Director and MD of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, James Crowe, Jr., at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn feels happy because now it is possible to accord immunity to mosquitoes by transferring the genes from the human immune system.

World Health Organization (WHO) finds that today millions of people are threatened by the dengue virus. Many American and Asian countries are facing children’s deaths and serious illness among people due to severe dengue.

The Pan American Health Organization reported that a maximum number of dengue cases are found in America. The symptoms of dengue are reshes, severe fever, and flu-like symptoms. In severe cases, continuous bleeding occurs and even death can occur in that case. Specific treatments are not available this time but the spread of dengue virus can be controlled by taking some preventive measures.

Akbari finds that the researchers have developed a human antibody that can spread the dengue virus. The developments made by the researchers show that more genetic approaches will be in the future that could control the spread of dengue virus and will prevent the humans’ life.

The researchers are introducing some new testing methods to stop the mosquitoes from being harmful and also working on some other viruses like Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.

The global director of the Tata Institute for Genetics and Society (TIGS) and the professor of molecular biology at UC San Diego, Suresh Subramani, find that today many diseases like malaria, Zika, chikungunya, and yellow fever have put billions of people’s lives at risk. All these diseases are because of mosquitoes. But the scientists from Akbari lab finds that it is possible to prevent the transmission of dengue virus by mosquitoes and some other mosquito-borne pathogens.

This study suggests that if treatments against dengue virus diseases isn’t available then the dengue virus spread can be controlled by taking some preventive measures such as genetically modifying the mosquitoes that transmit dengue in humans.

 

 

 

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Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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