Potential drug target identified for Zika virus

At a time when no vaccines or therapeutic drugs are available against Zika and other diseases caused by flaviviruses, researchers have successfully found that disabling or silencing one single gene can effectively leave the flaviviruses unable to leave the cell that has been infected, thereby preventing the spread of infection. Unlike bacteria, viruses must necessarily … Continue reading Potential drug target identified for Zika virus

The curious case of larvicides causing microcephaly

In the beginning, a rather ludicrous rumour made the rounds — genetically modified mosquitoes released in Brazil, by a British biotech company Oxitec to control Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that cause dengue, was responsible for the Zika virus disease outbreak. The conspiracy theory was started by one Redditor who proposed the link. The genetically modified mosquitoes are unlikely … Continue reading The curious case of larvicides causing microcephaly

Zika: When research goes off the rails

The World Health Organisation (WHO) may have designated the Zika virus and its suspected complications in newborns as a public health emergency of international concern, but this has not concerned Brazil which has so far refused to share virus samples and data with WHO collaborating centres. This is not only frustrating and delaying the development … Continue reading Zika: When research goes off the rails

Novel approaches to fight Aedes aegypti mosquito

An estimated 390 million dengue infections occurring each year across 150-odd countries is proof that the current mosquito control measures are grossly inadequate to keep the Aedes species, the vector that transmits dengue, chikungunya and Zika, under check. In Brazil, more than 1.5 million people were affected by Zika last year. That the virus has … Continue reading Novel approaches to fight Aedes aegypti mosquito

New antimalarial agent shows promise

A new antimalarial compound (DDD107498) tested on mice and several mosquito species has shown great promise, says a study published today (June 18) in the journal Nature . The agent has all the attributes one would look for in an antimalarial drug — activity extending to multiple lifecycle stages of the malaria parasite. In several … Continue reading New antimalarial agent shows promise

Natural odours may keep mosquitoes at bay

Published in The Hindu on August 28, 2009 An environmentally safe mosquito repellent to which Culex mosquitoes may not be able to develop resistance may become realty. Culex mosquitoes cause dengue in humans. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide emitted in human breath. This is well known. Now, scientists from the University of California, Riverside, … Continue reading Natural odours may keep mosquitoes at bay