There is a new theory on the spread of dengue. Insect saliva may hold the key to understanding why fatal dengue viruses are spread so quickly by mosquitoes, says the new thought.
Further research may be required on the theory. However, it may lead to innovative approaches in its treatment and prevention.
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A component in the dengue virus-infected mosquitoes’ saliva that interferes with the human immune system can cause its fast spread.
Dengue in the U.S
Together with the states that are freely affiliated with the United States, such as the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau, dengue is a frequent disease in American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Up to 400 million individuals worldwide contract dengue each year. Globally, 100 million people contract the infection, and severe dengue results in 40,000 fatalities.
“There is no doubt in my mind that a better understanding of the fundamental biology of transmission will eventually lead to effective transmission-blocking measures. It is remarkable how clever these viruses are — they subvert mosquito biology to tamp down our immune responses so that infection can take hold. Our findings are almost certainly going to apply to infections with other flaviviruses. The specific molecules here are unlikely to apply to malaria, but the concept is generalizable to viral infections,” says Dr. Mariano Garcia-Blanco, University of Virginia.
The study’s authors discovered molecules known as sfRNAs in the saliva of infected mosquitoes that can inhibit the immune system’s response.